What are the Most Effective Treatments?

4 April 2020. Updated 14 May 2020.

A critical question for sceptics is whether there are any effective treatments for COVID-19 because if there are then the case for prolonging the lockdown is weakened. So far, the most promising candidates are Hydroxychloroquine, Remdesivir and, most unexpectedly, Ivermectin, a drug for treating head lice. Which of these potential treatments hold most promise? As background, a quick introduction to what a virus actually is, and how COVID-19 acts on the body. This wonderful article from Scientific American clearly explains how viruses are simply fragments of DNA. Not life as we know it, they cannot respire, cannot replicate without a host, but they can invade host cells, take over the nucleus and reprogram it to create clones of themselves, which then explode out of the used cell to continue the cycle of infection.

The virus is passed through the transmission of droplets exhaled, coughed or sneezed out by infected persons. Initially, the virus attacks exposed cells of the throat and eyes to invade and clone itself. Once established, the infected cells start to shed the cloned virus, and in the body’s attempts to expel it by coughing and sneezing, a cycle of infection is created as the host sheds virus cells into the surrounding environment, where they can survive in the air or on surfaces. Over the course of a few days the host’s immune system kicks in and creates sufficient antibodies to overwhelm the virus and stop it spreading within that host. By then, however, the virus has already moved on to its next victim(s).

From antibody tests recently carried out in the US, it appears that for the huge majority of those infected, that is as serious as it gets. Many people are asymptomatic or suffer such mild symptoms that they don’t bother to seek medical attention. However, COVID-19 can also lead to pneumonia, more often in the elderly and those with comorbidities, which itself causes further, more severe complications as the lungs fail to deliver sufficient oxygen around the body, causing Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) and the eventual failure of major organs.

So when considering the effectivness of various treatments, we need to be clear about what those treatments are targeting. Of the pharmaceutical treatments, some are antivirals, aimed at inhibiting the ability of the virus to clone itself. Others are aimed at the secondary pneumonia and associated respiratory failure. A third group is aimed at the immune system, trying to prevent it over-reacting to the virus and triggering the onset of pneumonia. Ivermectin inhibits neurotransmission of parasites. Non-pharmaceutical interventions aimed at individual patients are focused on providing additional oxygen to the lungs. The active monitoring of blood oxygen saturation levels is being touted in this New York Times article as helping to predict the onset of severe pneumonia, even in patients who were asymptomatic for the virus.

Disclaimer: There is no evidence that Boris took Hydroxychloroquine

Remdesivir was developed by Gilead Sciences, Inc. to fight the Ebola virus, but was never proven in clinical trials to be effective and is not licensed for use. It is designed to directly act as a virus inhibitor, overwhelming the virus’s own ability to replicate itself. There were six trials of its effect on COVID-19 patients in progress, but two in China have been terminated due to lack of available participants. The others are as yet inconclusive.

Lopinavir/retonivir (also marketed as Kaletra) is a combination of direct acting antivirals that also work by inhibiting the replication of the virus. It has been proven effective in HIV and used successfully for over 20 years, but so far has not been proven effective against COVID-19.

Hydroxychloroquine has also been put forward as a virus inhibitor, although acting to increase the overall pH level of the cell-level environment, inhibiting the ability of the virus to replicate. A note of caution: the March 20th ‘clinical trial’ conducted by Dr Didier Raoult, director of the Research Unit in Infectious and Tropical Emergent Diseases (URMITE) in Marseille, which seemed to show that hydroxychloroquine is an effective treatment, has been heavily criticised.

Interferons, which act indirectly on viruses by triggering autoimmune reactions in the body, are currently being tested for COVID-19. However, the disruption caused to the immune system could have catastrophic consequences, particularly for patients whose immune systems are already compromised or who are suffering with COVID-19 pneumonia.

Host-directed therapies, such as Naproxen (marketed as Aleve), whereby specific immunity pathways are modulated to relieve inflammation, are also suggested as being possible routes forward to relieve late-stage respiratory distress, and trials are underway. But at the moment no approvals for this use have been granted. Steriods also fall into this category.

Ivermectin is used in parasitic infections, but had shown antiviral properties during the West Nile virus outbreak. Laboratory cell culture tests have shown it to be able to kill COVID-19 within 48 hours, but there are major concerns about its toxicity to humans.

Convalscent blood plasma is a biologic route also being pursued, which saw some successful use against SARS.

Further Reading

Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread‘, Martin Vincent et al, Virology Journal, August 22nd 2005

The Open-Air Treatment of PANDEMIC INFLUENZA’, Richard A. Hobday and John W. Cason, American Journal of Public Health, October 2009

Studies claim malaria drug Chloroquine effective against coronavirus‘ by James Delingpole, Brietbart, March 18th 2020

Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin as a treatment of COVID-19: results of an open-label non-randomized clinical trial‘, Didier Raoult et al, International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, March 20th 2020

Man dies after taking chloroquine in an attempt to prevent coronavirus‘, NBC News, March 24th 2020

COVID-19: More hydroxychloroquine data from France, more questions‘ by Véronique Duqueroy, The Hospitalist, April 1st 2020

Frequently Asked Questions for COVID Management Support Document‘, Massachusetts General Hospital, April 1st 2020

EMA recommends Remdesivir for Treatment of COVID-19 Under Compassionate-Use Rules‘, by Cory Renauer, The Motley Fool, April 3rd 2020

Coronavirus hope as drug prescribed for head lice “completely stops the deadly infection replicating in cells within 48 hours”‘ by Vanessa Chalmers, Mailonline, April 4th 2020

LA doctor seeing success with hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19‘, Eyewitness News, ABC, April 7th 2020

BCG jabs mean you are six times less likely to get coronavirus, study finds‘ by Verity Bowman, The Telegraph, April 8th 2020

Israeli COVID-19 treatment shows 100% survival rate – preliminary data‘ by Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman, The Jerusalem Post, April 8th 2020

A promising COVID-19 treatment gets fast-tracked‘ by George Spencer, Johns Hopkins Magazine, April 8th 2020

Vitamin D Supplementation Could Possibly Improve Clinical Outcomes of Patients Infected with Coronavirus-2019 (COVID-2019)‘, by Mark Alipio, SSRN, April 9th 2020

Doctor gambles on clot-busting drug to save virus patients‘ by Lauran Neergaard, AP News, April 11th 2020

Ebola drug shows promise in early coronavirus trials‘ by Tom Whipple, The Times, April 13th 2020

Is it dangerous to take ibuprofen?‘ by Dr Roger Henderson, Spectator USA, April 14th 2020

Coronavirus patients given US trial drug remdesivir “are off ventilators in a day”‘ by Rhys Blakely and Alex Ralph, The Times, April 18th 2020

Are viruses alive?‘ by Luis P. Villareal, Scientific American August 8th 2008

The infection that is silently killing coronavirus patients‘ by Dr Richard Levitan, New York Times, April 20th 2020

Largest analysis of hydroxychloroquine use finds no benefit for coronavirus, increased deaths‘ by Nathanial Weixel, The Hill, April 21st 2020

French researchers to test nicotine patches on coronavirus patients‘ by Kim Willsher, The Guardian, April 22nd 2020

Smoke fags, save lives‘ by Chrisophter Snowdon, Spiked, 23rd April 2020

Smokers “four times less likely” to contract Covid-19, prompting nicotine patch trials on patients‘ by Henry Samuel, The Telegraph, April 23rd 2020

Donald Trump suggests injecting people with ‘DISINFECTANT’ and hitting ‘the body with a very powerful light’ could kill coronavirus in bizarre White House briefing outburst‘, Geoff Earl, MailOnline, April 24th 2020

Remdesivir: Drug has “clear-cut” power to fight coronavirus‘ by James Gallagher, BBC News, April 29th 2020

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Rowland P
Rowland P
1 month ago

What I have seen to be one of the best remedies is hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin AND zinc sulphate as tried in America. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Oq6IOP1sd8.

11 days ago

The current draconian measures for dealing with COVID 19 are predicated on the premise that the disease is very hard to treat.

This is not the case, simple and effective treatments for COVID 19 are available, based around hydroxychloroquin in conjunction with arithromycin + zinc + heparin.

I refer you to the work of Dr Dietrich Klinghardt at the Sophia Health Institute.


9 days ago
Reply to  Fitzgerald

I’m not a doctor, but there’s loads of evidence showing good efficacy of vitamin therapy.
eg. https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/4/1181 “Optimal Nutritional Status for a Well-Functioning Immune System Is an Important Factor to Protect against Viral Infections”
http://www.orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v16n21.shtml “Rationale for Vitamin C Treatment of COVID-19 and Other Viruses”
http://www.orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v16n25.shtml “Vitamin C Evidence for Treating Complications of COVID-19 and other Viral Infections”
http://www.orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v16n27.shtml “Protected Group Immunity, Not a Vaccine, is the Way to Stop the COVID-19 Pandemic”
http://www.orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v16n28.shtml “Vitamin C and Coronavirus: Not a Vaccine; Just a Humble Cure”
“Why Oral Ascorbic Acid Combined with IV C is the Ultimate Two-Pronged Attack That Will Turn the Tide on COVID-19 Pandemic” by Doris Loh March 25
Intravenous vitamin C for reduction of cytokines storm in acute respiratory distress syndrome
Vitamin C for the Treatment of Sepsis: The Scientific Rationale – Paul E Marik – 2018 Apr 21.

Levy says : I consider vitamin C, magnesium, vitamin D, and vitamin K2 to be the premier, top four supplements for promoting and maintaining good health.

https://www.drbrownstein.com says “Folks, I think nebulizing hydrogen peroxide and iodine should be done on every COVID patient. It should be done on every pneumonia patient. It should be done on every influenza-suffering patient. It should be done on every patient suffering from lung problems.”

Many doctors say most lives would have been saved if they’d use hyperbaric oxygen therapy instead of intubating on ventilator. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/05/16/hyperbaric-oxygen-therapy-for-covid-19.aspx

Ozone is probably the singular most absolute anti-pathogen. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/05/03/ozone-therapy.aspx – Ozone Therapy for Coronavirus
Dr. Robert Rowen successfully treated ebola with ozone. He says, “.. if ozone and oxidative therapies, including Vitamin C or hydrogen peroxide or ultraviolet blood irradiation got out there, you would see a change in the landscape of medicine in this country, and it would really hurt pharma. And remember, we talked about the integration of pharma with the mass media, with the bankers and everyone else and I have no doubt that this information is being deliberately squelched. I know people, I know reporters who were trying to get the story out there and they were told by their higher ups, no go. It’s a dead story. Why? Ozone could be put into the ICUs. I have offered no expense, no cost. I don’t want to be paid for it, to go into local hospitals and bring those on in there and help. But we have a system that is so corrupt, so vile, that if it’s not FDA approved, they will let somebody die.”

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/04/25/coronavirus-pathophysiology.aspx – How Molecular Hydrogen Can Help Your Immune System

One of Mikovits’ primary treatment recommendations for COVID-19 is interferon 1 alpha, sold under brand names such as Alferon and Roferon, to shut down the replication of RNA viruses, including retroviruses and coronaviruses.

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/05/10/is-there-a-vaccine-for-coronavirus.aspx The Well-Known Hazards of Coronavirus Vaccines

9 days ago
Reply to  sumy

Dr Thomas Levy says Chloroquine/ Hydroxychloroquine “is the most impressive therapy I have ever seen in treating near-death ARDS patients with coronavirus, and requiring mechanical ventilation. Unless a patient is ready to expire imminently, chloroquine can be expected to bring about recovery practically 100% of the time. It’s equally impressive as hydrogen peroxide for resolving early pathogen colonizations, coughs, and colds (and probably for all respiratory viruses, not just coronavirus). It’s been around for 80 years, and at the low advised doses, is virtually side effect free. Chloroquine is an IONOPHORE. An ionophore is a chemical species that reversibly binds ions. Many ionophores are lipid-soluble entities that transport ions across a cell membrane. Chloroquine is a well-documented zinc ionophore. By itself, zinc does not readily cross the cell wall and enter the cell, largely because it is ionically charged. INTRACELLULAR zinc is a potent inhibitor of viral replication, appearing to interrupt the RNA polymerase that the virus needs to continue its multiplication. While many people promptly recover from all stages of coronavirus infection with just chloroquine, it is a good idea to include 40 to 50 mg daily of zinc supplementation (no more than 30 daily indefinitely when there is no pandemic). My personal opinion is that if the US promptly supplied every adult with five 500mg capsules of chloroquine, to be taken one daily, the entire pandemic in the US would be over in seven to 10 days.” (Dr Thomas Levy https://www.peakenergy.com/index.html )

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/04/20/zinc-dosage-for-immune-system.aspx How to Improve Zinc Uptake with Quercetin to Boost Immune Health

3 days ago
Reply to  sumy

Hi Sumy,

Thanks very much for this substantial list of resources on the treatment of COVID 19.

If we do know how to treat this disease effectively why are we still in lockdown?

Whomsoever is advising the Government on the medical response please make it clear the lockdown is no longer necessary and should be lifted at once.

Like a sticking plaster that is not required, it should be pulled off in one go, not agonisingly teased off over weeks and months!

Surely common sense tells us the preventative measures that have been adopted in response to COVID 19 are causing much more misery and destruction than the very treatable disease!

Enough already of social distancing and the “new normal”. The latter are nonsense,and were just made up by someone (well meaning but stupid)

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