COVID-19 has changed life as we know it.

There is no preventive vaccine or specific treatment available, according to the CDC.

Control measures and infection prevention should be implemented, and patients should receive supportive care, as needed.

Patients who have mild symptoms and seek advice should be advised to drink fluids, self-quarantine for 14 days, and take OTC medication for fever or other symptoms. They should also contact their doctor for further advice and guidance to see if a coronavirus test is available and/or needed.

Those with difficulty breathing or shortness of breath and high fevers should be seen and may be admitted into the hospital for oxygen. Some patients even need a ventilator. They should, if possible, first call their local emergency department for instruction.

All patients should focus on prevention and social distancing. These tips from the CDC are helpful.

Several pharmaceutical companies are racing to develop an effective treatment for the virus that is now a global pandemic. There are several classes of drugs in development, including antivirals, immunotherapies, vaccinations, as well as other investigational options. It is unknown whether a single drug could work or if a combination is needed, similar to HIV treatment. Below is a table outlining each area.
 
Antivirals
Drug Name Manufacturer Potential Mechanism of Action Other Information
Ampligen AIM ImmunoTech Broad-spectrum antiviral tested in Japan Has been used in a trial in mice with severe acute respiratory syndrome
Darunavir/Cobicistat (Prezcobix) Janssen Antiviral used for treatment of HIV; already on market  
Favipiravir (Favilavir)/(Avigan) Both in China and Japan Attacks RNA virus­es by in­hibit­ing RdRp (RNA-de­pen­dent RNA poly­merase)
 
 
Lopinavir/Ritonavir (Kaletra) AbbVie Antiviral used for treatment of HIV; is already on market; protease inhibitor  
Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) Genentech Blocks neuraminidase  
Remdesivir Gilead Sciences Broad-spectrum antiviral that blocks RNA-dependent polymerase Under investigation sponsored by National Institute of Health;
2 other phase 3 trials are going on simultaneously
Umifenovir (Arbidol)   Viral surface protein for binding to host cell receptor ACE2 Used in China and Russia
Immunotherapies
Drug Name Manufacturer Potential Mechanism of Action Other information
Anti-SARS-CoV-2 polyclonal hyperimmune globulin Takeda Antibodies of plasma from recovered patients; will be transferred to sick patients in the future to improve immune response Can potentially increase change of recovery
Brilacidin Innovation Pharmaceuticals Mimics human innate immune system and causes disruption of membrane pathogens Ready for phase 3 trials
Ifenprodil Algernon N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor glutamate receptor antagonist Preparing for US clinical trials. Animal study demonstrated reduction in acute lung injury and improved survivability in H5N1 infected animals.
Immunotherapy CEL-SCI Patented T cell modulation peptide delivery technology Stimulated protective cell mediated T cell response and reduce viral load
Remestemcel-L Mesoblast Limited Allogeneic mesenchymal stem cell can treat acute respiratory distress syndrome Derived from bone marrow of unrelated donors and administered via intravenous infusions
Tocilizumab (Actemra) Genentech Blocks IL-6 and can reduce inflammation  
TZLS-501 Tiziana Deplete circulating levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) Can decrease chronic inflammation, which may be associated with the severe lung damage
Unknown Q BioMed/Mannin Research Treatment of vascular leakage and endothelial dysfunction Can potentially assist those who are very ill

Also important to note, the antimalarial drug chloroquine is being studied for the treatment of coronavirus. Hydroxychloroquine, a safer, less toxic metabolite of chloroquine, is also being studied. Chloroquine blocks viral entry in the endosome.

Note: corticosteroids should generally be avoided, because of their potential to prolong viral replication. In some cases, steroids may be indicated for other reasons.

Vaccines
Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and Johnson & Johnson To be determined using proprietary technology  
Moderna Inc mRNA vaccine to be used in a phase 1 study Testing will begin with 45, young healthy volunteers 
Novavax Multiple recombinant nanoparticle vaccines will enhance immune responses Phase 1
Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and Sanofi Recombinant DNA platform formulated to stimulate the immune system to protect against the virus  
Applied DNA Sciences and Takis Biotech  DNA vaccine candidate using polymerase chain reaction-based DNA (linear DNA) Animal testing

This list is not all inclusive. Updates will be made
 
Karen Berger, PharmD, is a pharmacist at an independent pharmacy in northern New Jersey.

Suzanne Soliman, PharmD, BCMAS, is the founder and president of the Pharmacist Moms Group.