What Medications & Treatments are Used to Treat COVID-19?

What Medications & Treatments are Used to Treat COVID-19?

 Since the discovery of this novel coronavirus in December 2019, there has been much speculation and suggestions as to which COVID-19 treatment modalities would be ideal. Some of these options would target the signs and symptoms patients experience, while others would seek to rid the body of the virus itself.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that as of July 14, 2021, there have been 187,296,646 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Many of these persons have needed to seek COVID-19 treatment, and some have even been hospitalized. Consequently, healthcare providers have used several COVID-19 medications and treatments. So in this post, we will look at some of those management options and explore why some were efficient when others weren't.


Which COVID-19 Treatments Have Worked?

COVID-19 is currently being treated with both FDA-approved drugs and those used under an Emergency Use Authorization. According to the CDC, here are some of the recommended COVID-19 treatment options that have worked.

  • Infection prevention and control measures
  • Supplemental oxygen- is prescribed for patients to improve the level of oxygen in the blood and help mitigate shortness of breath while reducing the workload of the heart and lungs.
  • Nebulized Steroids (Budesonide) - according to Dr. Richard Bartlett, a 28-year medical veteran, Budesonide used as an inhaled steroid has given him a 100% recovery rate for his patients. It is believed that Budesonide is efficient because the morbidity from COVID-19 occurs due to the shattering inflammatory effects of the virus that starts roughly a week after becoming ill. So when Budesonide is administered before or during the early stage of this inflammation, it could hinder worsening of COVID-19.
  • Mechanical ventilatory support- this machine assists COVID-19 patients to breathe, especially when they are critically ill.
  • Remdesivir (Veklury) - approved by the FDA for treating COVID-19 in select hospitalized patients.
  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has also created a list endorsing those and other options, including Dexamethasone is a drug typically used in relieving inflammation. This steroid may decrease the risk of death in severely ill COVID-19 patients.
  • Favipiravir- used to treat the influenza viruses was approved for the treatment of COVID-19 in China in March 2020.
  • Vaccines- that are made specifically for treating COVID-19 are the only comprehensive and defensive treatment option.


Which COVID-19 Treatments have not Worked?

Several potential COVID-19 medications have surfaced, such as the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine; there is also lopinavir/ritonavir, an antiviral drug. These are some of the most talked-about medications recommended for treating COIVD-19; however, they have proved inefficient. Other treatment suggestions that have since been deemed inefficacious include but are not limited to,

  • Interferon-beta- a large trial of this method revealed that injected interferon-beta into hospitalized COVID-19 patients did not improve their condition.
  • Convalescent plasma- has been authorized for emergency treatment of COVID-19 in the US, although studies show very little to no benefit from this therapy.



Why do Some COVID-19 Treatments Work & Some Don't?

As with other conditions, some therapies will work, and some won't. This phenomenon does not mean that the management option itself is inefficient in totality. We must understand that several variables contribute to whether or not the same treatment that helps you get better will help me, as well. While some COVID-19 treatments are just plain ineffective because of the nature of the virus, here are a few reasons why some work and others don't:

  • Your age can determine how your body breaks down, absorbs, and uses different drugs.
  • Interference from other medications is affecting the way COVID-19 medications
  • If you have been receiving any of the now recommended COVID-19 drugs, their long-term use can result in medication tolerance development.
  • Early diagnosis helps catch the virus in its earlier stages, where it is much more receptive to treatment.


There are literally hundreds of COVID-19 treatment methods currently being explored to help remedy this deadly virus. As we continue to seek out and share knowledge concerning this novel coronavirus, we encourage you to practice preventative measures, as they are the best form of management.





‌Ali, M. J., Hanif, M., Haider, M. A., Ahmed, M. U., Sundas, F., Hirani, A., Khan, I. A., Anis, K., & Karim, A. H. (2020). Treatment Options for COVID-19: A Review. Frontiers in Medicine, 7. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2020.00480

CDC. (2020, February 11). Therapeutic Options for COVID-19 Patients. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/therapeutic-options.html

Dent, G. (2020, October 22). Coronavirus: which treatments work and which don’t? The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-which-treatments-work-and-which-dont-147594

‌Drbeen Medical Lectures. (2020). Nebulized Steroids (Budesonide) Talk with Dr. Richard Bartlette [YouTube Video]. In YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=205Unk4TQXI&t=19s

‌Hospitalized Adults: Therapeutic Management | COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines. (2021). COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines; COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines. https://www.covid19treatmentguidelines.nih.gov/management/clinical-management/hospitalized-adults--therapeutic-management/

Jean, S.-S., Lee, P.-I., & Hsueh, P.-R. (2020). Treatment options for COVID-19: The reality and challenges. Journal of Microbiology, Immunology and Infection, 53(3), 436–443. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmii.2020.03.034





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  • Cecilia Arias
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