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Negative influence of drugs on COVID-19

The new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is raising many questions among care providers, including questions about the use of drugs that could have a negative influence on the course of the COVID-19  disease. Drugs that have, in one way or another, been associated with a negative influence on the disease caused by the coronavirus include angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor antagonists, NSAIDs, pioglitazone and corticosteroids. According to current views, these therapies do not have to be discontinued for fear that they might influence the risk of infection or the course of COVID-19. There is insufficient scientific evidence for a negative effect on the risk of infection or on the course of COVID-19. In addition, existing illnesses could be exacerbated if the drugs, especially ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II antagonists and corticosteroids, are discontinued.

  • The mere suspicion that the mechanism of action of particular drugs might have a negative influence on the risk of infection with, and the course of, COVID-19 disease is no reason to discontinue an existing treatment.
  • Simply discontinuing drugs with a presumed, but unproven, negative effect on COVID-19 may have serious consequences for the illness  for which these drugs are being used.

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  • Sander D. Borgsteede
  • Maaike Diesveld
  • Suzanne de Klerk
  • Kim L. Pham
  • Sam Schoenmakers
  • Jorie Versmissen
  • Melvin Lafeber