Recent research showed that two commonly used drugs for seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR) and asthma – fexofenadine and montelukast- can be repurposed for the fight against Covid-19. These 2 drug classes have been shown to possess direct viral protein-binding properties.
The research is relevant in the context of a majority of Covid-19 sufferers experiencing a mild case like a common cold. The drug employment is based on the rationale that early control of rhinitis, cough and sneezing will prevent covid virus dissemination as well.
The study said: “early covid-19 symptoms show overlap with SAR. Proper treatment of rhinitis, sneezing and cough with a fexofenadine-montelukast combination at this stage will prevent viral dissemination and spread to others.”
The current research suggested that histamine is a potential therapeutic target to prevent COVID-19 from progressing to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Fexofenadine is said to be beneficial in this aspect as it belongs to the first generation class of antihistamines.
On the other hand, earlier research showed that covid-19 patients receiving montelukast experience significantly fewer events of clinical deterioration than patients not receiving it. The current research showed that montelukast exerts beneficial effects like direct antiviral actions and endothelial barrier protection, which counters the cytokine storm caused by the coronavirus.
The study concluded that fexofenadine and monolukast are found to be one of the best anti-covid molecules by structure-based repositioning studies. “Hence their use can potentially promote rapid recovery besides effective symptom control.”