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Rimantadine for COVID-19

Rimantadine has been reported as potentially beneficial for treatment of COVID-19. We have not reviewed these studies. See all other treatments.
Lim et al., Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Activity of Adamantanes In Vitro and in Animal Models of Infection, COVID, doi:10.3390/covid2110111
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has had devastating effects worldwide, with particularly high morbidity and mortality in outbreaks on residential care facilities. Amantadine, originally licensed as an antiviral agent for therapy and prophylaxis against influenza A virus, has beneficial effects on patients with Parkinson’s disease and is used for treatment of Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, acquired brain injury, and various other neurological disorders. Recent observational data suggest an inverse relationship between the use of amantadine and COVID-19. Adamantanes, including amantadine and rimantadine, are reported to have in vitro activity against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and, more recently, SARS-CoV-2. We hypothesized that adamantanes have antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2, including variant strains. To assess the activity of adamantanes against SARS-CoV-2, we used in vitro and in vivo models of infection. We established that amantadine, rimantadine, and tromantadine inhibit the growth of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro in cultured human epithelial cells. While neither rimantadine nor amantadine reduces lung viral titers in mice infected with mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2, rimantadine significantly reduces viral titers in the lungs in golden Syrian hamsters infected with SARS-CoV-2. In summary, rimantadine has antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 in human alveolar epithelial cells and in the hamster model of SARS-CoV-2 lung infection. The evaluation of amantadine or rimantadine in human randomized controlled trials can definitively address applications for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19.
Breitinger et al., Patch-clamp studies and cell viability assays suggest a distinct site for viroporin inhibitors on the E protein of SARS-CoV-2, Virology Journal, doi:10.1186/s12985-023-02095-y
Abstract Background SARS-CoV-2 has caused a worldwide pandemic since December 2019 and the search for pharmaceutical targets against COVID-19 remains an important challenge. Here, we studied the envelope protein E of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, a highly conserved 75–76 amino acid viroporin that is crucial for virus assembly and release. E protein channels were recombinantly expressed in HEK293 cells, a membrane-directing signal peptide ensured transfer to the plasma membrane. Methods Viroporin channel activity of both E proteins was investigated using patch-clamp electrophysiology in combination with a cell viability assay. We verified inhibition by classical viroporin inhibitors amantadine, rimantadine and 5-(N,N-hexamethylene)-amiloride, and tested four ivermectin derivatives. Results Classical inhibitors showed potent activity in patch-clamp recordings and viability assays. In contrast, ivermectin and milbemycin inhibited the E channel in patch-clamp recordings but displayed only moderate activity on the E protein in the cell viability assay, which is also sensitive to general cytotoxic activity of the tested compounds. Nemadectin and ivermectin aglycon were inactive. All ivermectin derivatives were cytotoxic at concentrations > 5 µM, i.e. below the level required for E protein inhibition. Conclusions This study demonstrates direct inhibition of the SARS-CoV-2 E protein by classical viroporin inhibitors. Ivermectin and milbemycin inhibit the E protein channel but their cytotoxicity argues against clinical application.
Fam et al., Channel activity of SARS-CoV-2 viroporin ORF3a inhibited by adamantanes and phenolic plant metabolites, Scientific Reports, doi:10.1038/s41598-023-31764-9
AbstractSARS-CoV-2 has been responsible for the major worldwide pandemic of COVID-19. Despite the enormous success of vaccination campaigns, virus infections are still prevalent and effective antiviral therapies are urgently needed. Viroporins are essential for virus replication and release, and are thus promising therapeutic targets. Here, we studied the expression and function of recombinant ORF3a viroporin of SARS-CoV-2 using a combination of cell viability assays and patch-clamp electrophysiology. ORF3a was expressed in HEK293 cells and transport to the plasma membrane verified by a dot blot assay. Incorporation of a membrane-directing signal peptide increased plasma membrane expression. Cell viability tests were carried out to measure cell damage associated with ORF3a activity, and voltage-clamp recordings verified its channel activity. The classical viroporin inhibitors amantadine and rimantadine inhibited ORF3a channels. A series of ten flavonoids and polyphenolics were studied. Kaempferol, quercetin, epigallocatechin gallate, nobiletin, resveratrol and curcumin were ORF3a inhibitors, with IC50 values ranging between 1 and 6 µM, while 6-gingerol, apigenin, naringenin and genistein were inactive. For flavonoids, inhibitory activity could be related to the pattern of OH groups on the chromone ring system. Thus, the ORF3a viroporin of SARS-CoV-2 may indeed be a promising target for antiviral drugs.
Please send us corrections, updates, or comments. c19early involves the extraction of 100,000+ datapoints from thousands of papers. Community updates help ensure high accuracy. Treatments and other interventions are complementary. All practical, effective, and safe means should be used based on risk/benefit analysis. No treatment 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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