Scientists are searching hard for coronavirus treatments. Which ones look promising?

Three approaches of drug treatment

It’s still too early to have more than a few results from large high-quality trials known as randomised controlled trials (RCTs) where some people are given the treatment and other aren’t.

“RCTs are the only way you can tell whether the drug is having an effect,” says Professor Lewin, who is the lead author of a paper by the Australian Academy of Science that looks at the most promising treatments.

There are basically three different approaches to drug treatment:

  • targeting the virus,
  • dampening the immune system,
  • treating later complications, such as blood clots.

“You may use antiviral drugs early in the illness when there’s lots of virus around, but it is looking like you will use immune-dampening drugs in the latter part of the illness.”

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