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18/03/2020: Arbidol, the drug that serves no purpose against COVID-19
In these days, a movie circulating on the web in which you can see two Italians buying, in the pharmacy of a Russian airport, a drug called Arbidol, which would be effective against COVID-19.
We do not know if these people act out of stupidity or to create confusion, surely this drug has no effect on the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Arbidol is an antiviral drug produced by the Russian company Pharmstandard and distributed in Russia and China.
The active substance of this drug is Umifenovir, an antiviral used to treat the flu.
Neither the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) nor the EMA (European Medicines Agency) approved the use of the drug for common flu as the efficacy / side effects ratio highlighted a high level of risk and an almost total ineffectiveness.
The drug is said to inhibit viral entry into target cells and stimulate the immune response.
Interest in the drug was renewed following the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.
In February 2020, National Health Commission of China expert Li Lanjuan proposed using Umifenovir in combination with Darunavir as a potential treatment during the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic.
Unfortunately, the results have been disappointing and China has abandoned the drug.
As early as 2007, the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences stated that the effects of Arbidol (Umifenovir) are not scientifically proven.
In summary, the drug Arbidol is not absolutely effective in the treatment of COVID-19.
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