TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Three Taiwanese COVID-19 patients treated with remdesivir saw their fevers quickly subside after taking the medicine, according to Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳), a leading member of Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Thursday (March 26).
Remdesivir, an anti-viral medicine that failed as an Ebola drug, is currently under clinical trials to assess its effectiveness in treating COVID-19. However, whether the medicine can help patients shorten their recovery time still needs to be assessed and determined, Chang added.
In addition to remdesivir, Chang said that based on French research, the anti-malarial drug quinine could be used to shorten viral shedding in COVID-19 patients. Therefore, it can be administered to patients with mild symptoms to shorten their hospital stays.
Chang went on to add that an anti-malarial drug, hydroxychloroquine, could also be effective in treating COVID-19. The government's newest guidelines for clinical treatment allow doctors to administer it based on their judgment; however, they must make known to patients that its effectiveness is still being studied and receive their consent.
Hydroxychloroquine, which is also used to treat rheumatism, will require a seven-day course of treatment for cases of COVID-19, Chang said. Doctors must proceed with caution, as it has potential side effects, including heart arrhythmia and retinal lesions, and pregnant women should not be prescribed the drug.