Cureus. 2020 Sep 16;12(9):e10480. doi: 10.7759/cureus.10480.
An acute respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus [severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), previously known as 2019-nCoV], the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was first detected in Wuhan, China. Since then, the virus has spread rapidly worldwide leading to a global public health crisis. Due to its devastating effect on public health, it is crucial to identify a viable therapeutic option to mitigate the damage the disease causes. In spite of various governments implementing aggressive global lock-down and quarantine protocols, the number of cases continues to follow an upward trend. At present, the therapeutic strategies are supportive or preventative, focusing on reducing transmission. Given the gravity of the situation, we aim to explore the drugs that have been tried so far and their efficacy when applied in clinical trials. Since newer interventions would take months to years to develop, by looking at the pool of existing therapeutic options, including remdesivir (RDV), plasma exchange or cytapheresis, hydroxychloroquine, baricitinib, and lopinavir (LPV), we have tried to detail the principles behind their use to treat COVID-19, current application, and adverse effects. Many coronaviruses have a highly mutable single-stranded RNA genome and hence discovering new drugs against the virus is going to be challenging owing to the possible viral genetic recombination. Extensive research is still needed to safely advocate the efficacy of the currently available therapeutic options.