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Antifungal and Antidepressant Drugs May Help Protect Against COVID-19


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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Published on behalf of the British Pharmacological Society, the British Journal of Pharmacology is a broad-based journal giving leading international coverage of all aspects of experimental pharmacology. It publishes high quality original research and authoritative reviews, minireviews, commentary and letters to the editor. Each year a range of themed issues are published and a must-read special edition, the Concise Guide to Pharmacology, is published biennially. The journal is recognised as one of the leading publications in its field. It is online only, publishes open access research through its Open Access programme and is published fortnightly.

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