Seoul recommends use of anti-HIV drug for COVID-19 treatment

2020.02.13 15:31:33 | 2020.02.13 15:49:27

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South Korean government endorsed use of Kaletra, a combination of two anti-HIV drugs, to treatment novel coronavirus (COVID-19)-infected patients who are old or severely ill, or have other underlying diseases.

The government announced the first guidelines on Thursday after the patient (male, 54), the country’s third case of the virus, was released from quarantine Wednesday after full recovery with the anti-HIV drug treatment. His doctors confirmed that symptoms started to improve the day after the medication.

“Young and healthy people mostly have shown improvement in symptoms without any special treatment. But older patients or those with underlying diseases are in need of the medication at early stage,” said Kim Kang-rip, vice head of the central disease control headquarters.

“Currently, all aged patients are in stable condition,” added Kim.

[Photo by Yonhap]이미지 확대

[Photo by Yonhap]

The guidelines recommend to treating two tablets of Kaletra twice a day for the virus. Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine, medications used to prevent and treat malaria, also can be an alternative.

Taking the two kinds at the same time however could cause a side effect like cardiac arrhythmia, warned the headquarters.

Other anti-viral medications such as ribavirin and Interferon were not included in the recommended list due to higher risk of side effects.

Seven to 10 days of treatment is ideal, and early use of the medication can be helpful, according to the guidelines.

So far now, the new coronavirus has infected 28 in Korea and seven have been discharged from hospital.

By Lee Ha-yeon

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