A drug cocktail formed of the HIV medication lopinavir-ritonavir, the hepatitis therapy drug ribavirin and the multiple sclerosis treatment interferon-beta was confirmed to be efficient against novel coronavirus infection, in a clinical study made by scientists in Hong Kong.
The treatment appeared safe in patients. Patients trated with this drug cocktail tested negative for COVID-19 seven days after application. "For the virological outcome, the combination treatment was associated with significantly shorter time to negative viral load in all specimens when assessed individually (nasopharyngeal swab, posterior oropharyngeal saliva, throat swab, and stool samples) as well as in all specimens combined. All urine samples tested negative for viral load," the authors of the study concluded. Larger clinic trials are needed however.
People in Hong Kong
"Our trial demonstrates that early treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 with a triple combination of antiviral drugs may rapidly suppress the amount of virus in a patient's body, relieve symptoms, and reduce the risk to health-care workers," said Kwok-Yung Yuen, a professor at the University of Hong Kong. In the trial, all patients received standard hospital care as needed, including ventilation support, dialysis support, antibiotics and corticosteroids. Treatment began on average five days after symptoms started.