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Methotrexate for COVID-19

Methotrexate has been reported as potentially beneficial for treatment of COVID-19. We have not reviewed these studies. See all other treatments.
Schälter et al., Does methotrexate influence COVID-19 infection? Case series and mechanistic data, Arthritis Research & Therapy, doi:10.1186/s13075-021-02464-4
Abstract Background To investigate whether methotrexate treatment may affect the susceptibility to infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Methods Clinical assessment of symptoms, SARS-CoV-2 RNA, and anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG in an initial case series of four families and confirmatory case series of seven families, within which one family member developed coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) and exposed another family member receiving methotrexate treatment; experimental part with methotrexate treatment of mice and organoids followed by the assessment of mRNA and protein expression of the SARS-CoV-2 receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)-2. Results In the initial case series, three of four women on a joint ski trip developed COVID-19, while the fourth woman, under treatment with methotrexate, remained virus-free. Two of the three diseased women infected their husbands, while the third husband treated with methotrexate remained virus-free. In addition, 7 other families were identified in a follow-up case series, in which one member developed COVID-19, while the other, receiving methotrexate, remained healthy. Experimentally, when mice were treated with methotrexate, ACE2 expression significantly decreased in the lung, in the intestinal epithelium, and in intestinal organoids. Conclusion These clinical and experimental data indicate that methotrexate has certain protective effects on SARS-CoV-2 infection via downregulating ACE2.
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.
Chevalier et al., CovAID: Identification of factors associated with severe COVID-19 in patients with inflammatory rheumatism or autoimmune diseases, Frontiers in Medicine, doi:10.3389/fmed.2023.1152587
IntroductionAutoimmune/inflammatory rheumatic diseases (AIRDs) patients might be at-risk of severe COVID-19. However, whether this is linked to the disease or to its treatment is difficult to determine. This study aimed to identify factors associated with occurrence of severe COVID-19 in AIRD patients and to evaluate whether having an AIRD was associated with increased risk of severe COVID-19 or death.Materials and methodsTwo databases were analyzed: the EDS (Entrepôt des Données de Santé, Clinical Data Warehouse), including all patients followed in Paris university hospitals and the French multi-center COVID-19 cohort [French rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMD)]. First, in a combined analysis we compared patients with severe and non-severe COVID-19 to identify factors associated with severity. Then, we performed a propensity matched score case–control study within the EDS database to compare AIRD cases and non-AIRD controls.ResultsAmong 1,213 patients, 195 (16.1%) experienced severe COVID-19. In multivariate analysis, older age, interstitial lung disease (ILD), arterial hypertension, obesity, sarcoidosis, vasculitis, auto-inflammatory diseases, and treatment with corticosteroids or rituximab were associated with increased risk of severe COVID-19. Among 35,741 COVID-19 patients in EDS, 316 having AIRDs were compared to 1,264 Propensity score-matched controls. AIRD patients had a higher risk of severe COVID-19 [aOR = 1.43 (1.08–1.87), p = 0.01] but analysis restricted to rheumatoid arthritis and spondyloarthritis found no increased risk of severe COVID-19 [aOR = 1.11 (0.68–1.81)].ConclusionIn this multicenter study, we confirmed that AIRD patients treated with rituximab or corticosteroids and/or having vasculitis, auto-inflammatory disease, and sarcoidosis had increased risk of severe COVID-19. Also, AIRD patients had, overall, an increased risk of severe COVID-19 compares general population.
Atoum et al., Paving New Roads Using Allium sativum as a Repurposed Drug and Analyzing its Antiviral Action Using Artificial Intelligence Technology, Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, doi:10.5812/ijpr-131577
Context: The whole universe is facing a coronavirus catastrophe, and prompt treatment for the health crisis is primarily significant. The primary way to improve health conditions in this battle is to boost our immunity and alter our diet patterns. A common bulb veggie used to flavor cuisine is garlic. Compounds in the plant that are physiologically active are present, contributing to its pharmacological characteristics. Among several food items with nutritional value and immunity improvement, garlic stood predominant and more resourceful natural antibiotic with a broad spectrum of antiviral potency against diverse viruses. However, earlier reports have depicted its efficacy in the treatment of a variety of viral illnesses. Nonetheless, there is no information on its antiviral activities and underlying molecular mechanisms. Objectives: The bioactive compounds in garlic include organosulfur (allicin and alliin) and flavonoid (quercetin) compounds. These compounds have shown immunomodulatory effects and inhibited attachment of coronavirus to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor and the Mpro of SARS-CoV-2. Further, we have discussed the contradictory impacts of garlic used as a preventive measure against the novel coronavirus. Method: The GC/MS analysis revealed 18 active chemicals, including 17 organosulfur compounds in garlic. Using the molecular docking technique, we report for the first time the inhibitory effect of the under-consideration compounds on the host receptor ACE2 protein in the human body, providing a crucial foundation for understanding individual compound coronavirus resistance on the main protease protein of SARS-CoV-2. Allyl disulfide and allyl trisulfide, which make up the majority of the compounds in garlic, exhibit the most potent activity. Results: Conventional medicine has proven its efficiency from ancient times. Currently, our article's prime spotlight was on the activity of Allium sativum on the relegation of viral load and further highlighted artificial intelligence technology to study the attachment of the allicin compound to the SARS-CoV-2 receptor to reveal its efficacy. Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered interest among researchers to conduct future research on molecular docking with clinical trials before releasing salutary remedies against the deadly malady.
Tomazou et al., Multi-omics data integration and network-based analysis drives a multiplex drug repurposing approach to a shortlist of candidate drugs against COVID-19, Briefings in Bioinformatics, doi:10.1093/bib/bbab114
Abstract The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic is undeniably the most severe global health emergency since the 1918 Influenza outbreak. Depending on its evolutionary trajectory, the virus is expected to establish itself as an endemic infectious respiratory disease exhibiting seasonal flare-ups. Therefore, despite the unprecedented rally to reach a vaccine that can offer widespread immunization, it is equally important to reach effective prevention and treatment regimens for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Contributing to this effort, we have curated and analyzed multi-source and multi-omics publicly available data from patients, cell lines and databases in order to fuel a multiplex computational drug repurposing approach. We devised a network-based integration of multi-omic data to prioritize the most important genes related to COVID-19 and subsequently re-rank the identified candidate drugs. Our approach resulted in a highly informed integrated drug shortlist by combining structural diversity filtering along with experts’ curation and drug–target mapping on the depicted molecular pathways. In addition to the recently proposed drugs that are already generating promising results such as dexamethasone and remdesivir, our list includes inhibitors of Src tyrosine kinase (bosutinib, dasatinib, cytarabine and saracatinib), which appear to be involved in multiple COVID-19 pathophysiological mechanisms. In addition, we highlight specific immunomodulators and anti-inflammatory drugs like dactolisib and methotrexate and inhibitors of histone deacetylase like hydroquinone and vorinostat with potential beneficial effects in their mechanisms of action. Overall, this multiplex drug repurposing approach, developed and utilized herein specifically for SARS-CoV-2, can offer a rapid mapping and drug prioritization against any pathogen-related disease.
Sperry et al., Target-agnostic drug prediction integrated with medical record analysis uncovers differential associations of statins with increased survival in COVID-19 patients, PLOS Computational Biology, doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1011050 (Table 2)
Drug repurposing requires distinguishing established drug class targets from novel molecule-specific mechanisms and rapidly derisking their therapeutic potential in a time-critical manner, particularly in a pandemic scenario. In response to the challenge to rapidly identify treatment options for COVID-19, several studies reported that statins, as a drug class, reduce mortality in these patients. However, it is unknown if different statins exhibit consistent function or may have varying therapeutic benefit. A Bayesian network tool was used to predict drugs that shift the host transcriptomic response to SARS-CoV-2 infection towards a healthy state. Drugs were predicted using 14 RNA-sequencing datasets from 72 autopsy tissues and 465 COVID-19 patient samples or from cultured human cells and organoids infected with SARS-CoV-2. Top drug predictions included statins, which were then assessed using electronic medical records containing over 4,000 COVID-19 patients on statins to determine mortality risk in patients prescribed specific statins versus untreated matched controls. The same drugs were tested in Vero E6 cells infected with SARS-CoV-2 and human endothelial cells infected with a related OC43 coronavirus. Simvastatin was among the most highly predicted compounds (14/14 datasets) and five other statins, including atorvastatin, were predicted to be active in > 50% of analyses. Analysis of the clinical database revealed that reduced mortality risk was only observed in COVID-19 patients prescribed a subset of statins, including simvastatin and atorvastatin. In vitro testing of SARS-CoV-2 infected cells revealed simvastatin to be a potent direct inhibitor whereas most other statins were less effective. Simvastatin also inhibited OC43 infection and reduced cytokine production in endothelial cells. Statins may differ in their ability to sustain the lives of COVID-19 patients despite having a shared drug target and lipid-modifying mechanism of action. These findings highlight the value of target-agnostic drug prediction coupled with patient databases to identify and clinically evaluate non-obvious mechanisms and derisk and accelerate drug repurposing opportunities.
Issac et al., Improved And Optimized Drug Repurposing For The SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic, bioRxiv, doi:10.1101/2022.03.24.485618
The active global SARS-CoV-2 pandemic caused more than 426 million cases and 5.8 million deaths worldwide. The development of completely new drugs for such a novel disease is a challenging, time intensive process. Despite researchers around the world working on this task, no effective treatments have been developed yet. This emphasizes the importance of drug repurposing, where treatments are found among existing drugs that are meant for different diseases. A common approach to this is based on \emph{knowledge graphs}, that condense relationships between entities like drugs, diseases and genes. Graph neural networks (GNNs) can then be used for the task at hand by predicting links in such knowledge graphs. Expanding on state-of-the-art GNN research, Doshi {\sl et al.} recently developed the \drcov \ model. We further extend their work using additional output interpretation strategies. The best aggregation strategy derives a top-100 ranking of 8,070 candidate drugs, 32 of which are currently being tested in COVID-19-related clinical trials. Moreover, we present an alternative application for the model, the generation of additional candidates based on a given pre-selection of drug candidates using collaborative filtering. In addition, we improved the implementation of the \drcov \ model by significantly shortening the inference and pre-processing time by exploiting data-parallelism. As drug repurposing is a task that requires high computation and memory resources, we further accelerate the post-processing phase using a new emerging hardware --- we propose a new approach to leverage the use of high-capacity Non-Volatile Memory for aggregate drug ranking.
Please send us corrections, updates, or comments. Vaccines and treatments are complementary. All practical, effective, and safe means should be used based on risk/benefit analysis. No treatment, vaccine, or intervention is 100% available and effective for all current and future variants. We do not provide medical advice. Before taking any medication, consult a qualified physician who can provide personalized advice and details of risks and benefits based on your medical history and situation. FLCCC and WCH provide treatment protocols.
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