Currently there is not an effective antiviral treatment for COVID-19, but a large number of drugs have been evaluated since the beginning of the pandemic and many of them have been used for the treatment of COVID-19 despite the preliminary or conflicting results of the clinical trials. We aimed to review and summarize all of the current knowledge on the antivirals for COVID-19. There are 2 main drug groups for SARS-CoV-2: Agents that target proteins or RNA of the virus or interfere with proteins or biological processes in the host that support the virus. The main drug groups include inhibitors of viral entry into the human cell (convalescent plasma, monoclonal antibodies, nanobodies, mini proteins, human soluble ACE-2, camostat, dutasteride, proxalutamide, bromhexin, hydroxychloroquine, umifenovir nitazoxanid, niclosamide, lactoferrin), inhibitors of viral proteases (lopinavir/ritonavir, PF-07321332, PF-07304814, GC376), inhibitors of viral RNA (remdesivir, favipiravir, molnupiravir, AT-527, merimepodib, PTC299); inhibitors of host proteins supporting virus (plitidepsin, fluvoxamine, ivermectin) and agents supporting host natural immunity (Interferons). When taking into account the results of all the available laboratory and clinical trials on the subject, monoclonal antibodies are seem to be the most effective treatment for COVID-19 at the moment and high-titer convalescent plasma also could be effective when administered during the early phase of the disease. As lopinavir/ritonavir, hydroxychloroquine, merimepodib, and umifenovir were found to be ineffective in RCTs, they should not be used. Additional studies are needed to define the role of remdesivir, favipiravir, interferons, ivermectin, dutasteride, proxulutamide, fluvoxamine, bromhexine, nitazoxanide and niclosamid in the treatment of COVID-19. Finally, the results of phase trials are waited to learn whether or not the newer agents such as molnupiravir, PF-07321332, PF-07304814, plitidepsin and AT-527 are effective in the treatment of COVID-19.
Keywords: Covid-19; antiviral; sars-cov-2; treatment.