Last month in Health e-Tips, I told you about hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug commonly used to treat malaria, lupus, and arthritis.
Since we last spoke about this antimalarial, there has been a lot of pushback on using a drug like this to treat the novel coronavirus.
So now, there’s a TON of research going on to find the next possible “solution” for COVID-19.
And a new study finds an antiviral drug previously used to treat Ebola patients could be the answer.
Here’s what you need to know.
Antiviral helps patients improve?
The advice from health officials is rapidly changing – and it’s hard to keep up.
The hydroxychoroquine drug could be a life-saver for someone… but it could also be a life-ender for others.
It seems like no one can agree on the facts.
But there is an antiviral drug, called remdesivir, that two separate studies agree could be the most powerful weapon in the fight against COVID-19.
In a small study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found the drug improved outcomes of coronavirus patients.
Specifically, more than two-thirds of 53 severely ill patients showed improvement in their oxygen support. And 17 of 30 patients on ventilators were able to be taken off of the life-support machines.
But that’s not all…
Another study ran by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) found that patients who received remdesivir experienced a 31 percent faster recovery time.
Gilead, the remdesivir production company, launched their own trial including severe coronavirus patients and found that a five-day treatment of remdesivir works just as effectively as a 10-day treatment.
So how does this antiviral work against the novel virus?
According to experts, remdesivir tricks the coronavirus by mimicking its building blocks – preventing the virus from replicating.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the use of remdesivir on severely ill patients under their emergency use authorization. But for now, the antiviral is still considered experimental.