New insights for infection mechanism and potential targets of COVID-19: Three Chinese patent medicines and three Chinese medicine formulas as promising therapeutic approaches.Chin Herb Med. 2023 Apr; 15(2):157-168.CH
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) with high pathogenicity and infectiousness has become a sudden and lethal pandemic worldwide. Currently, there is no accepted specific drug for COVID-19 treatment. Therefore, it is extremely urgent to clarify the pathogenic mechanism and develop effective therapies for patients with COVID-19. According to several reliable reports from China, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), especially for three Chinese patent medicines and three Chinese medicine formulas, has been demonstrated to effectively alleviate the symptoms of COVID-19 either used alone or in combination with Western medicines. In this review, we systematically summarized and analyzed the pathogenesis of COVID-19, the detailed clinical practice, active ingredients investigation, network pharmacology prediction and underlying mechanism verification of three Chinese patent medicines and three Chinese medicine formulas in the COVID-19 combat. Additionally, we summarized some promising and high-frequency drugs of these prescriptions and discussed their regulatory mechanism, which provides guidance for the development of new drugs against COVID-19. Collectively, by addressing critical challenges, for example, unclear targets and complicated active ingredients of these medicines and formulas, we believe that TCM will represent promising and efficient strategies for curing COVID-19 and related pandemics.