Authors: Padmanabhan S, Padmanabhan K



COVID-19 has tested the limits of our healthcare system with very few clear therapeutic options proven to date. Previous studies of SARS and MERS and now SARS-CoV-2 have clearly shown the significance of interferon response in altering disease severity/outcome. The broad anti-viral activity of Nitazoxanide stems from its ability to amplify the innate immune system/interferon response. Repurposing Nitazoxanide, an anti-protozoal for its anti-viral effect requires precise dosing considering its pharmacokinetics to achieve adequate inhibitory concentration in the serum. NTZ shows excellent in-vitro activity against SARS-CoV-2 (IC50 of 0.68 micro g/ml) and has a great potential to reduce severity of COVID-19. This article summarizes the compelling evidence to evaluate NTZ in clinical trials with appropriate dosing regimen as a potential treatment for COVID-19 patients as well as a prophylactic for at-risk populations. There are several trials which use inadequate dose of this drug with resulting marginal to no clinical effectiveness.

Keywords: nitazoxanide, COVID-19, SARS-CoV2

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