NHS hospitals are under growing pressure during the global crisis amid novel coronavirus to use experimental drugs for the treatment of infected patients.
Healthcare professionals and pharmaceutical companies around the globe are struggling to find a drug that can be helpful in containing the deadly virus which has already killed more than 8,200 people around the world.
Medicines being used for dealing with COVID-19 ranging from HIV to malaria, rheumatoid arthritis, flu and even Ebola are contenders and are being tested to check if they could help to treat people infected with the novel coronavirus.
The Government refused to confirm if they are being tested out on coronavirus patients in the United Kingdom. The NHS advises people with troublesome symptoms to use paracetamol and stay at home and rest unless they are seriously ill and require hospitalization.
The medicines regulator has banned companies from exporting three drugs for HIV and malaria in order to save the stock for their people. These drugs have been used in experimental medications by Chinese doctors who raised the prospect of Britain to do the same.
Here are some of the drugs which are potentially effective as believed by experts.
Chloroquine phosphate (Malaria)
It is an anti-malarial drug which is being used by the doctors in battling against coronavirus infections. It is being sold under the name Arlan. Drug tests reveal that it has potential in fighting against COVID-19 outbreak.
It showed a safe profile and efficacy in treating coronavirus associated pneumonia.
Chinese experts are investigating another form of chloroquine as they believe that its less toxic derivative may also help in fighting against the deadly outbreak.
Experts said that hydroxychloroquine may be potentially effective against SARS-CoV-2. But scientists at Wuhan Institute of Virology said that they are still lacking the evidence to prove its effectiveness or to say it is as effective as chloroquine phosphate.
It is sold under the name Plaquenil and has some side effects such as nausea, skin rash, diarrhoea and headaches.
It is sold under the brand name Aluvia and Kaletra. It is an anti-HIV drug used in the treatment of people with novel coronavirus to prevent it from developing into AIDS.
Researchers say that it has demonstrated a promising response because of its ability to bind on the outer side of the coronavirus.
It is an active ingredient used in a flu drug known as Avigan. It is an antiviral drug that neutralized the vital viral enzyme which is responsible for replication. It is sold in Japan and not used by the NHS.
Chinese doctors have claimed that this drug was clearly effective in patients fighting with coronavirus after it was given to 80 individuals in the cities of Shenzen and Wuhan.
It is also an anti-viral medication that works the same way as favipiravir, stop virus replication. It is not prescribed on the NHS. Chinese doctors have said that since it’s proven to be safe, it must be used for treating patients suffering from COVID-19.
Sarilumab (Rheumatoid arthritis)
It is sold under the brand name Kevzara in the United State and it is set to be trialled on coronavirus patients and it is also available to be prescribed on the NHS.