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Mefloquine for COVID-19

Mefloquine has been reported as potentially beneficial for treatment of COVID-19. We have not reviewed these studies. See all other treatments.
Sharun et al., A comprehensive review on pharmacologic agents, immunotherapies and supportive therapeutics for COVID-19, Narra J, doi:10.52225/narra.v2i3.92
The emergence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has affected many countries throughout the world. As urgency is a necessity, most efforts have focused on identifying small molecule drugs that can be repurposed for use as anti-SARS-CoV-2 agents. Although several drug candidates have been identified using in silico method and in vitro studies, most of these drugs require the support of in vivo data before they can be considered for clinical trials. Several drugs are considered promising therapeutic agents for COVID-19. In addition to the direct-acting antiviral drugs, supportive therapies including traditional Chinese medicine, immunotherapies, immunomodulators, and nutritional therapy could contribute a major role in treating COVID-19 patients. Some of these drugs have already been included in the treatment guidelines, recommendations, and standard operating procedures. In this article, we comprehensively review the approved and potential therapeutic drugs, immune cells-based therapies, immunomodulatory agents/drugs, herbs and plant metabolites, nutritional and dietary for COVID-19.
Jeon et al., Identification of antiviral drug candidates against SARS-CoV-2 from FDA-approved drugs, bioRxiv, doi:10.1101/2020.03.20.999730
AbstractCOVID-19 is an emerging infectious disease and was recently declared as a pandemic by WHO. Currently, there is no vaccine or therapeutic available for this disease. Drug repositioning represents the only feasible option to address this global challenge and a panel of 48 FDA-approved drugs that have been pre-selected by an assay of SARS-CoV was screened to identify potential antiviral drug candidates against SARS-CoV-2 infection. We found a total of 24 drugs which exhibited antiviral efficacy (0.1 μM < IC50 < 10 μM) against SARS-CoV-2. In particular, two FDA-approved drugs - niclosamide and ciclesonide – were notable in some respects. These drugs will be tested in an appropriate animal model for their antiviral activities. In near future, these already FDA-approved drugs could be further developed following clinical trials in order to provide additional therapeutic options for patients with COVID-19.
Farag et al., Identification of FDA Approved Drugs Targeting COVID-19 Virus by Structure-Based Drug Repositioning, American Chemical Society (ACS), doi:10.26434/chemrxiv.12003930.v1
The new strain of Coronaviruses (SARS-CoV-2), and the resulting Covid-19 disease has spread swiftly across the globe after its initial detection in late December 2019 in Wuhan, China, resulting in a pandemic status declaration by WHO within 3 months. Given the heavy toll of this pandemic, researchers are actively testing various strategies including new and repurposed drugs as well as vaccines. In the current brief report, we adopted a repositioning approach using insilico molecular modeling screening using FDA approved drugs with established safety profiles for potential inhibitory effects on Covid-19 virus. We started with structure based drug design by screening more than 2000 FDA approved drugsagainst Covid-19 virus main protease enzyme (Mpro) substrate-binding pocket to identify potential hits based on their binding energies, binding modes, interacting amino acids, and therapeutic indications. In addition, we elucidate preliminary pharmacophore features for candidates bound to Covid-19 virus Mpro substratebinding pocket. The top hits include anti-viral drugs such as Darunavir, Nelfinavirand Saquinavir, some of which are already being tested in Covid-19 patients. Interestingly, one of the most promising hits in our screen is the hypercholesterolemia drug Rosuvastatin. These results certainly do not confirm or indicate antiviral activity, but can rather be used as a starting point for further in vitro and in vivo testing, either individually or in combination.
Touret et al., In vitro screening of a FDA approved chemical library reveals potential inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 replication, bioRxiv, doi:10.1101/2020.04.03.023846
SummaryA novel coronavirus, named SARS-CoV-2, emerged in 2019 from Hubei region in China and rapidly spread worldwide. As no approved therapeutics exists to treat Covid-19, the disease associated to SARS-Cov-2, there is an urgent need to propose molecules that could quickly enter into clinics. Repurposing of approved drugs is a strategy that can bypass the time consuming stages of drug development. In this study, we screened the Prestwick Chemical Library® composed of 1,520 approved drugs in an infected cell-based assay. 90 compounds were identified. The robustness of the screen was assessed by the identification of drugs, such as Chloroquine derivatives and protease inhibitors, already in clinical trials. The hits were sorted according to their chemical composition and their known therapeutic effect, then EC50 and CC50 were determined for a subset of compounds. Several drugs, such as Azithromycine, Opipramol, Quinidine or Omeprazol present antiviral potency with 2<EC50<20µM. By providing new information on molecules inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 replication in vitro, this study could contribute to the short-term repurposing of drugs against Covid-19.
Ellinger et al., Identification of inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 in-vitro cellular toxicity in human (Caco-2) cells using a large scale drug repurposing collection, Research Square, doi:10.21203/rs.3.rs-23951/v1
Abstract To identify possible candidates for progression towards clinical studies against SARS-CoV-2, we screened a well-defined collection of 5632 compounds including 3488 compounds which have undergone clinical investigations (marketed drugs, phases 1 -3, and withdrawn) across 600 indications. Compounds were screened for their inhibition of viral induced cytotoxicity using the human epithelial colorectal adenocarcinoma cell line Caco-2 and a SARS-CoV-2 isolate. The primary screen of 5632 compounds gave 271 hits. A total of 64 compounds with IC50 <20 µM were identified, including 19 compounds with IC50 < 1 µM. Of this confirmed hit population, 90% have not yet been previously reported as active against SARS-CoV-2 in-vitro cell assays. Some 37 of the actives are launched drugs, 19 are in phases 1-3 and 10 pre-clinical. Several inhibitors were associated with modulation of host pathways including kinase signaling P53 activation, ubiquitin pathways and PDE activity modulation, with long chain acyl transferases were effective viral inhibitors.
Weston et al., Broad anti-coronaviral activity of FDA approved drugs against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro and SARS-CoV in vivo, bioRxiv, doi:10.1101/2020.03.25.008482
AbstractSARS-CoV-2 emerged in China at the end of 2019 and has rapidly become a pandemic with roughly 2.7 million recorded COVID-19 cases and greater than 189,000 recorded deaths by April 23rd, 2020 (www.WHO.org). There are no FDA approved antivirals or vaccines for any coronavirus, including SARS-CoV-2. Current treatments for COVID-19 are limited to supportive therapies and off-label use of FDA approved drugs. Rapid development and human testing of potential antivirals is greatly needed. A quick way to test compounds with potential antiviral activity is through drug repurposing. Numerous drugs are already approved for human use and subsequently there is a good understanding of their safety profiles and potential side effects, making them easier to fast-track to clinical studies in COVID-19 patients. Here, we present data on the antiviral activity of 20 FDA approved drugs against SARS-CoV-2 that also inhibit SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. We found that 17 of these inhibit SARS-CoV-2 at a range of IC50 values at non-cytotoxic concentrations. We directly follow up with seven of these to demonstrate all are capable of inhibiting infectious SARS-CoV-2 production. Moreover, we have evaluated two of these, chloroquine and chlorpromazine, in vivo using a mouse-adapted SARS-CoV model and found both drugs protect mice from clinical disease.
Xiao et al., Identification of potent and safe antiviral therapeutic candidates against SARS-CoV-2, bioRxiv, doi:10.1101/2020.07.06.188953
AbstractCOVID-19 pandemic has infected millions of people with mortality exceeding 300,000. There is an urgent need to find therapeutic agents that can help clear the virus to prevent the severe disease and death. Identifying effective and safer drugs can provide with more options to treat the COVID-19 infections either alone or in combination. Here we performed a high throughput screen of approximately 1700 US FDA approved compounds to identify novel therapeutic agents that can effectively inhibit replication of coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2. Our two-step screen first used a human coronavirus strain OC43 to identify compounds with anti-coronaviral activities. The effective compounds were then screened for their effectiveness in inhibiting SARS-CoV-2. These screens have identified 24 anti-SARS-CoV-2 drugs including previously reported compounds such as hydroxychloroquine, amlodipine, arbidol hydrochloride, tilorone 2HCl, dronedarone hydrochloride, and merfloquine hydrochloride. Five of the newly identified drugs had a safety index (cytotoxic/effective concentration) of >600, indicating wide therapeutic window compared to hydroxychloroquine which had safety index of 22 in similar experiments. Mechanistically, five of the effective compounds were found to block SARS-CoV-2 S protein-mediated cell fusion. These FDA approved compounds can provide much needed therapeutic options that we urgently need in the midst of the pandemic.
Xiao et al., Identification of Potent and Safe Antiviral Therapeutic Candidates Against SARS-CoV-2, Frontiers in Immunology, doi:10.3389/fimmu.2020.586572
COVID-19 pandemic has infected millions of people with mortality exceeding >1 million. There is an urgent need to find therapeutic agents that can help clear the virus to prevent severe disease and death. Identifying effective and safer drugs can provide more options to treat COVID-19 infections either alone or in combination. Here, we performed a high throughput screening of approximately 1,700 US FDA-approved compounds to identify novel therapeutic agents that can effectively inhibit replication of coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2. Our two-step screen first used a human coronavirus strain OC43 to identify compounds with anti-coronaviral activities. The effective compounds were then screened for their effectiveness in inhibiting SARS-CoV-2. These screens have identified 20 anti-SARS-CoV-2 drugs including previously reported compounds such as hydroxychloroquine, amlodipine besylate, arbidol hydrochloride, tilorone 2HCl, dronedarone hydrochloride, mefloquine, and thioridazine hydrochloride. Five of the newly identified drugs had a safety index (cytotoxic/effective concentration) of >600, indicating a wide therapeutic window compared to hydroxychloroquine which had a safety index of 22 in similar experiments. Mechanistically, five of the effective compounds (fendiline HCl, monensin sodium salt, vortioxetine, sertraline HCl, and salifungin) were found to block SARS-CoV-2 S protein-mediated cell fusion. These FDA-approved compounds can provide much needed therapeutic options that we urgently need during the midst of the pandemic.
Jan et al., Identification of existing pharmaceuticals and herbal medicines as inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 infection, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, doi:10.1073/pnas.2021579118
Significance COVID-19 is a global pandemic currently lacking an effective cure. We used a cell-based infection assay to screen more than 3,000 agents used in humans and animals and identified 15 with antiinfective activity, ranging from 0.1 nM to 50 μM. We then used in vitro enzymatic assays combined with computer modeling to confirm the activity of those against the viral protease and RNA polymerase. In addition, several herbal medicines were found active in the cell-based infection assay. To further evaluate the efficacy of these promising compounds in animal models, we developed a challenge assay with hamsters and found that mefloquine, nelfinavir, and extracts of Ganoderma lucidum (RF3), Perilla frutescens , and Mentha haplocalyx were effective against SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Ellinger et al., A SARS-CoV-2 cytopathicity dataset generated by high-content screening of a large drug repurposing collection, Scientific Data, doi:10.1038/s41597-021-00848-4
AbstractSARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, in which acute respiratory infections are associated with high socio-economic burden. We applied high-content screening to a well-defined collection of 5632 compounds including 3488 that have undergone previous clinical investigations across 600 indications. The compounds were screened by microscopy for their ability to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 cytopathicity in the human epithelial colorectal adenocarcinoma cell line, Caco-2. The primary screen identified 258 hits that inhibited cytopathicity by more than 75%, most of which were not previously known to be active against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. These compounds were tested in an eight-point dose response screen using the same image-based cytopathicity readout. For the 67 most active molecules, cytotoxicity data were generated to confirm activity against SARS-CoV-2. We verified the ability of known inhibitors camostat, nafamostat, lopinavir, mefloquine, papaverine and cetylpyridinium to reduce the cytopathic effects of SARS-CoV-2, providing confidence in the validity of the assay. The high-content screening data are suitable for reanalysis across numerous drug classes and indications and may yield additional insights into SARS-CoV-2 mechanisms and potential therapeutic strategies.
Jeon et al., Identification of Antiviral Drug Candidates against SARS-CoV-2 from FDA-Approved Drugs, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, doi:10.1128/AAC.00819-20
Drug repositioning is the only feasible option to immediately address the COVID-19 global challenge. We screened a panel of 48 FDA-approved drugs against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) which were preselected by an assay of SARS-CoV. We identified 24 potential antiviral drug candidates against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Some drug candidates showed very low 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC 50 s), and in particular, two FDA-approved drugs—niclosamide and ciclesonide—were notable in some respects.
Weston et al., Broad Anti-coronavirus Activity of Food and Drug Administration-Approved Drugs against SARS-CoV-2 In Vitro and SARS-CoV In Vivo, Journal of Virology, doi:10.1128/jvi.01218-20
There are no FDA-approved antivirals for any coronavirus, including SARS-CoV-2. Numerous drugs are already approved for human use that may have antiviral activity and therefore could potentially be rapidly repurposed as antivirals. Here, we present data assessing the antiviral activity of 20 FDA-approved drugs against SARS-CoV-2 that also inhibit SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV in vitro . We found that 17 of these inhibit SARS-CoV-2, suggesting that they may have pan-anti-coronaviral activity. We directly followed up seven of these and found that they all inhibit infectious-SARS-CoV-2 production. Moreover, we evaluated chloroquine and chlorpromazine in vivo using mouse-adapted SARS-CoV. We found that neither drug inhibited viral replication in the lungs, but both protected against clinical disease.
Oliver et al., Different drug approaches to COVID-19 treatment worldwide: an update of new drugs and drugs repositioning to fight against the novel coronavirus, Therapeutic Advances in Vaccines and Immunotherapy, doi:10.1177/25151355221144845
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in the second half of 2022, there are about 606 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and almost 6,500,000 deaths around the world. A pandemic was declared by the WHO in March 2020 when the new coronavirus spread around the world. The short time between the first cases in Wuhan and the declaration of a pandemic initiated the search for ways to stop the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) or to attempt to cure the disease COVID-19. More than ever, research groups are developing vaccines, drugs, and immunobiological compounds, and they are even trying to repurpose drugs in an increasing number of clinical trials. There are great expectations regarding the vaccine’s effectiveness for the prevention of COVID-19. However, producing sufficient doses of vaccines for the entire population and SARS-CoV-2 variants are challenges for pharmaceutical industries. On the contrary, efforts have been made to create different vaccines with different approaches so that they can be used by the entire population. Here, we summarize about 8162 clinical trials, showing a greater number of drug clinical trials in Europe and the United States and less clinical trials in low-income countries. Promising results about the use of new drugs and drug repositioning, monoclonal antibodies, convalescent plasma, and mesenchymal stem cells to control viral infection/replication or the hyper-inflammatory response to the new coronavirus bring hope to treat the disease.
Zhong et al., Recent advances in small-molecular therapeutics for COVID-19, Precision Clinical Medicine, doi:10.1093/pcmedi/pbac024
Abstract The COVID-19 pandemic poses a fundamental challenge to global health. Since the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2, great efforts have been made to identify antiviral strategies and develop therapeutic drugs to combat the disease. There are different strategies for developing small molecular anti-SARS-CoV-2 drugs, including targeting coronavirus structural proteins (e.g. spike protein), non-structural proteins (nsp) (e.g. RdRp, Mpro, PLpro, helicase, nsp14, and nsp16), host proteases (e.g. TMPRSS2, cathepsin, and furin) and the pivotal proteins mediating endocytosis (e.g. PIKfyve), as well as developing endosome acidification agents and immune response modulators. Favipiravir and chloroquine are the anti-SARS-CoV-2 agents that were identified earlier in this epidemic and repurposed for COVID-19 clinical therapy based on these strategies. However, their efficacies are controversial. Currently, three small molecular anti-SARS-CoV-2 agents, remdesivir, molnupiravir, and Paxlovid (PF-07321332 plus ritonavir), have been granted emergency use authorization or approved for COVID-19 therapy in many countries due to their significant curative effects in phase III trials. Meanwhile, a large number of promising anti-SARS-CoV-2 drug candidates have entered clinical evaluation. The development of these drugs brings hope for us to finally conquer COVID-19. In this account, we conducted a comprehensive review of the recent advances in small molecule anti-SARS-CoV-2 agents according to the target classification. Here we present all the approved drugs and most of the important drug candidates for each target, and discuss the challenges and perspectives for the future research and development of anti-SARS-CoV-2 drugs.
Pasla et al., In silico Drug Repurposing for the Identification of Antimalarial Drugs as Candidate Inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2, Anti-Infective Agents, doi:10.2174/2211352519666211202141143
Background: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a severe acute respiratory condition that has affected millions of people worldwide, indicating a global health emergency. Despite the deteriorating trends of COVID-19, no drugs are validated to have substantial efficacy in the potential treatment of COVID-19 patients in large-scale trials. Methods: This study aimed at identifying potential antimalarial candidate molecules for the treatment of COVID and evaluating the possible mechanism of action by in silico screening method. In silico screening studies on various antimalarial compounds, like amodiaquine, chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, mefloquine, primaquine, and atovaquone, were conducted using PyRx and AutoDoc 1.5.6 tools against ACE 2 receptor, 3CL protease, hemagglutinin esterase, spike protein of SARS HR1 motif, and papain-like protease virus proteins. Results: Based on PyRx results, mefloquine and atovaquone were found to have higher docking affinity scores against virus proteins compared to other antimalarial compounds. Screening report of atovaquone exhibited affirmative inhibition constant for spike protein of SARS HR1 motif, 3CL protease, and papain-like protease. Conclusion: In silico analysis reported atovaquone as a promising candidate for COVID 19 therapy.
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