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Current pharmacological treatments for COVID-19: what’s next?
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  • Cristina Scavone,
  • Simona Brusco,
  • Michele Bertini,
  • Liberata Sportiello,
  • Concetta Rafaniello,
  • Alice Zoccoli,
  • Liberato Berrino,
  • Giorgio Racagni,
  • Francesco Rossi,
  • Annalisa Capuano
Cristina Scavone
Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli
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Simona Brusco
Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli
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Michele Bertini
Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli
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Liberata Sportiello
Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli
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Concetta Rafaniello
Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli
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Alice Zoccoli
Campus Bio-Medico University
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Liberato Berrino
Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli
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Giorgio Racagni
Università degli Studi di Milano
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Francesco Rossi
Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli
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Annalisa Capuano
Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli
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Abstract

Starting from December 2019 the novel SARS-Cov-2 has spread all over the world, being recognized as the causing agent of COVID-19. Since nowadays no specific drug therapies neither vaccines are available for the treatment of COVID-19, drug repositioning may offer a strategy to efficiently control the clinical course of the disease and the spread of the outbreak. In this paper we aim to describe the main pharmacological properties, including data on mechanism of action, safety concerns and drug-drug interactions, of drugs currently administered in patients with COVID-19, focusing on antivirals and drugs with immune-modulatory and/or anti-inflammatory properties. Where available, data from clinical trials involving patients with COVID-19 were reported. A large number of clinical studies have been registered worldwide and several drugs were repurposed to face the new health emergency of COVID-19. For many of these drugs, including lopinavir/ritonavir, remdesivir, favipiravir, chloroquine and tocilizumab, clinical evidence from literature and real life settings support their favorable efficacy and safety profile in improving patients’ clinical conditions. Even though drug repurposing is necessary, it requires caution. Indeed, too many drugs that are currently tested in patients with COVID-19 have peculiar safety profiles. While waiting for the results of clinical studies demonstrating the efficacy of drugs able to reduce symptoms and complications of COVID-19, the best therapeutic path to pursue is the development of an effective vaccine able to prevent this infection.

Peer review status:ACCEPTED

07 Apr 2020Submitted to British Journal of Pharmacology
09 Apr 2020Submission Checks Completed
09 Apr 2020Assigned to Editor
13 Apr 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
13 Apr 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
14 Apr 20201st Revision Received
17 Apr 2020Submission Checks Completed
17 Apr 2020Assigned to Editor
17 Apr 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
17 Apr 2020Editorial Decision: Accept