Udayavni Special

All you need to know about the drugs used in Covid-19 treatment

Team Udayavani, Jul 12, 2020, 1:10 PM IST

Amid Covid-19, the healthcare facilities are being advanced day by day. Various drugs have emerged already as great hope until a vaccine comes. Some of them are inexpensive and hold a promise to quick and full recovery

Here is all you need to know about Covid-19 drugs


Remdesivir, the best therapeutic drug against Covid-19, was originally developed by American drug-maker Gilead. The drug is applied to patients as part of investigational therapy in moderate cases. The drug was tested against Ebola in 2014. It was also provided for the treatment of a small number of patients under a compassionate treatment protocol during Ebola outbreaks between 2014 and 2016, and again in 2018.

Nucleoside analogue is a reference to the molecular structure of Remdesivir. It means that the drug contains a nitrogenous base with carbon sugar. This type of antiviral prevents the virus from making more copies of itself inside the human body. Once the virus is no longer able to replicate, the infection starts to clear up.


Favipiravir is an anti-viral drug and it is approved in Japan for treating influenza. It is currently being tested in 18 clinical trials for Covid-19 and results from two studies have shown a positive outcome

Glenmark claimed that Favipiravir shows clinical improvements of up to 88 per cent in Covid-19, with rapid reduction in viral load by four days. The drug will be available as a prescription-based medication for Rs 103/tablet, with recommended dose being 1800 mg twice daily on day 1, followed by 800 mg twice daily up to day 14.


Dexamethasone has been around since the early 1960s. It is a steroid often given in low doses as an anti-inflammatory. It is used widely for severe asthma, allergies and when joints are painful and swollen. It is also used in autoimmune conditions such as systemic lupus erythematosus or more commonly in rheumatoid arthritis.

In a small minority, the symptoms of Covid-19 are much worse and patients need oxygen therapy or ventilation to help the lungs get oxygen into the body. These are the people for whom dexamethasone was shown to be effective.

Dexamethasone acts on the immune system to dampen the response and reduce the cytokine storm.


Hydroxychloroquine is one of the oldest and best-known anti-malarial drugs. It is also used to treat autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Although its effectiveness is controversial, the drug has been approved by the FDA for emergency use for some patients who are hospitalized with coronavirus.

A recent study claimed that chloroquine could block the coronavirus from invading cells, which it must do to replicate and cause illness. But, drugs that fight viruses in test tubes do not always work in the human body.

Doctors of France and China say that hydroxychloroquine, sometimes combined with the antibiotic azithromycin, seemed to help patients.

Although, it is said that a few patients may have received hydroxychloroquine and then recovered, there is no data that proves it is effective in treating or preventing Covid-19. In fact, mounting data suggests this drug may do more harm than good when used to treat patients infected with novel coronavirus.


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