Although no medication is currently recommended to treat COVID-19 there is no mandate against promising treatments and doctors are taking full advantage.
From “supportive care” used to keep vital organs functioning in any way possible, to antimalarial drugs and medications designed to treat rheumatoid arthritis, doctors are utilizing an array of treatments to protect patients from the worst outcomes of the coronavirus.
“It has been shown to at least be in part effective.” Baptist Memorial Hospital’s infectious disease expert, Dr. Steve Threlkeld told WMC Action News 5 in Memphis. “It was quite a slam dunk or a home run, depending on your analogy, but it did seem to shorten the duration of infection.”
He indicated a critically ill patient at Baptist Memorial was receiving remdesivir and showed signs of improvement, according to WMC.
Didier Raoult, a French infectious-disease expert, known to be a leader among those supporting the use of the antimalarial drug, hydroxycholoroquine, has argued online for its wider use ahead of waiting for lengthy clinical trials, according to the Wall Street Journal. (RELATED: Trump Says He Has Stopped Taking Hydroxychloroquine)
“Some people have gone crazy with methodology,” he said, according to the Wall Street Journal. “Our objective as doctors is to make people better.”
Dr. Raoult also indicated in an interview with U.S. Dr. Mehmet Oz that in one of his trials that treated over 1,000 patients 92% were cured completely.
As patients began lining up outside Dr. Raoult’s hospital hoping to access the treatment, French President Emmanuel Macron met with him in April to mark interest in what the doctor was professing, according to Politico.
A company in the U.K., Benevolent AI, was able to use its artificial intelligence system to identify, in record time, approved drugs that might help with coronavirus infections, the New York Times reported.
The drug, Baricitinib, is designed to treat rheumatoid arthritis and has begun to be tested in patients hospitalized with the coronavirus by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), according to the New York Times.
Other treatments being researched by the NIH include anti-clotting agents, as well as convalescent plasma therapies meant to boost an individual’s ability to recover from the coronavirus, and which has been used successfully to treat other respiratory viruses.
“Doctors are trying desperately to do something — anything, said Dr. Arturo Casadevall of Johns Hopkins University, according to the New York Post. “But everything they’re doing with antiviral drugs is experimental.”
While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not recommend the use of any of these drugs to treat COVID-19 infections, in recent weeks it has approved some of them via an Emergency Use Authorization.