Doctors are still trying “desperately” to find a proven treatment for the coronavirus — with most patients currently being given a mix of antiviral drugs typically used for HIV and malaria, experts told The Post.
“Doctors are trying desperately to do something — anything — but everything they’re doing with antiviral drugs is experimental,” said U.S. Dr. Arturo Casadevall of Johns Hopkins University.
Casadevall plans to file papers with the FDA this week to clear a promising “convalescent serum” that involves using virus-fighting antibodies from the blood of survivors, he said.
But most people with the virus have so far been prescribed a cocktail of meds — including anti-HIV drugs and antimalarials, experts said.
“What is being done in a clinical trials almost everywhere along East Coast is the employment some kind of regimen with [the antiviral drugs] Kaletra or Remdesivir,” said Dr. Liise-anne Pirofski, chief of infectious diseases at Albert Einstein College of Medicine & Montefiore Medical Center.
“In many centers, patients are put on a therapy governed by local protocols — and the reason for that is we don’t know enough yet.”
She added that the Ebola drug Remdesivir “appears to be very promising.”
Meanwhile, Japanese flu drug favipiravir has also been shown to reduce the recovery time and lung condition of patients in a clinical trial of 340 people in China, medical authorities in the country said Wednesday.
Infected patients who were given the antiviral in Wuhan and Shenzhen tested negative for the virus after a median of four days, compared with a median of 11 days for those who were not treated with the drug, the outlet reported.
Research has also begun to show what drugs patients may want to avoid.
“Early studies suggested that steroids are detrimental,” Pirofski said.
Although some reports have surfaced showing bad reactions ibuprofen, it still “needs to be studied more,” she said.