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Prozac, antifungal drug inhibit SARS-CoV-2 in new study

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Two common antidepressant and antifungal drugs were very effective at inhibiting SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, according to a new study.

Two common antidepressant and antifungal drugs were very effective at inhibiting SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, according to a new study.

Researchers found that the antifungal itraconazole (Sporanox, other brand names) and the antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac), in combination with the antiviral drug remdesivir, inhibited the production of SARS-CoV-2 by more than 90%.

Related: Merck’s experimental drug shows quick reduction in SARS-CoV-2

The study was published April 6 in. the British Journal of Pharmacology.

Researchers tested the antiviral potential of itraconazole and fluoxetine on the production of infectious SARS‐CoV‐2 particles — alone and in combination with remdesivir — using a cell culture model in the lab.

Related: FDA authorizes new COVID-19 treatment, more vaccine doses on the way

Importantly, both the itraconazole–remdesivir and fluoxetine–remdesivir combinations displayed synergistic effects, as determined in commonly used reference models for drug interaction, wrote senior author Ursula Rescher, PhD, with the University of Muenster, Germany, and colleagues.

“Itraconazole–remdesivir and fluoxetine–remdesivir combinations are promising starting points for therapeutic options to control SARS‐CoV‐2 infection and severe progression of COVID‐19,” they wrote.

Read more: FDA okays first combo COVID-19 and flu test

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