Lopinavir is a drug against HIV, hydroxychloroquine is used to treat malaria and rheumatism. Until recently, both drugs were regarded as potential agents in the fight against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. A research group from the University of Basel and the University Hospital Basel has now discovered that the concentration of the two drugs in the lungs of Covid-19 patients is not sufficient to fight the virus.
In February 2020, a Covid-19 patient cohort was established at the University and the University Hospital in Basel to prospectively monitor a range of diagnostic means and potential treatments for Covid-19, including the off-label use of hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir.
A research group monitored lopinavir plasma levels in Covid-19 patients. “Considering that substantial inflammation was observed in these patients, and previous studies have shown the inhibition of drug metabolism by systemic inflammation, we had the rationale to investigate the effect of inflammation on lopinavir and hydroxychloroquine plasma levels,” states Professor Catia Marzolini, first author of the study and professor for experimental medicine at the University of Basel.
Read more at: University of Basel
Treatment of a patient with Covid-19 in the intensive care unit of the University Hospital Basel. (Photo Credit: University Hospital Basel, Fabian Fiechter)
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