New research published in the British Journal of Pharmacology indicates that two currently available medications–an antifungal drug and an antidepressant–can effectively inhibit the virus that causes COVID-19 in laboratory cells.
Investigators found that the antifungal itraconazole and the antidepressant fluoxetine each blocked the production of infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus in cell culture lab tests. When either drug was used in combination with the antiviral drug remdesiver, the combination showed synergistic effects and inhibited the production of SARS-CoV-2 by more than 90%.
“Preventive vaccination and therapeutic medicines against COVID-19 are both required to effectively combat pandemics caused by emerging zoonotic viruses such as SARS-CoV-2,” said senior author Ursula Rescher, PhD, of the University of Muenster, in Germany.
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