Advances in the treatment of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) with Western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine: a narrative review.J Thorac Dis. 2020 Oct; 12(10):6054-6069.JT
In December 2019, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was discovered. Since its emergence, COVID-19 has been outbreaking rapidly worldwide, where the virus has so far caused the death of hundreds of thousands and infected more than a million, what has been called a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). According to the WHO-Coronavirus disease 2019 Situation Report-142, by June 10, 2020, there are 7,145,539 confirmed cases and 408,025 deaths. There is an urgent need to develop a suitable specific medicine against this novel coronavirus; therefore, scientists and researchers around the world are making great efforts endeavoring to discover an efficient specific medication for COVID-19 treatment. Given the similarity of the novel coronavirus with previous epidemic viruses, namely, the acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), previously tested drugs could potentially work against the novel coronavirus. In this narrative review, we aim to summarize and discuss the effectiveness of current Western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine options for COVID-19 treatment based on the overview of the scientific literature. Some Western medicines including remdesivir, chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, favipiravir, lopinavir/ritonavir, and arbidol, as well as some traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) such as Qingfei Paidu decoction, Yupingfeng, Lianhua Qingwen, and TCM injections have revealed a relative activity against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro, in observational studies, and in clinical trials. However, further extensive studies and clinical trials including double-blind and randomized clinical trials, with a higher number of patients, are necessary to confirm the activity of these medicines. There are several ongoing trials conducted on the drugs of COVID-19, and the results are urgently needed to make a suitable treatment recommendation.