Q and A

Question

What is the best treatment for COVID-19?

Hi, if I am diagnosed with COVID-19, what are the best options for treatment. Should I join a study for example?

Answer

This is a good question, but the answer will change based on latest research. Please refer to the latest information and guidelines (including checking the date of this page).

Check US treatment guidelines – a good resource that are frequently updated.

COVID-19 is also complicated because it has different stages of infection. It starts as a viral infection but can also become a more serious inflammatory disease.

Some treatments for very late infection should not be used in early infection (for example dexamethasone). Some treatments for early infection are not recommended in very late disease (for example remdesavir).

Positive results have also been reported for IL-6 agonists (tocilizumab – in late infection), monoclonal antibodies (in early infection), colchicine (in very early infection) and monoclonal antibodies (as prophylaxis).

Many early studies were NOT effective – whcih also means staying up-to-date. This means drugs like hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/r, azithromycin and ribavirin do NOT work.

Many other research studies are taking place so it is important to look for latest results. You might also want to join a study. However, the more serious your COVID-19, the more important it will be to use drugs that are likely to work.

All studies should make sure all participants get the minimum standard of care. Potential new treatments are usually compared to either a placebo (dummy pill) to just to standard of care.

Other promising treatments include anakinra, anticoagulants, monoclonal antibodies or possibly convalescent plasma.

These options are likely to depend on your individual health at the time.

i-Base report latest news on COVID-19 treatment in the monthly HIV Treatment Bulletin (HTB).

The i-Base information service can talk about these options. You can ask a question online, email: questions@i-Base.org.uk or call the phoneline on 0808 800 6013.

This answer was last updated in February 2021 from a question first posted on 20 May 2020.

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