An effective drug for the treatment of covid-19 may have existed for 50 years. Isoprinosine was tested on himself and his son by a vaccinologist and chief physician of the Vaccination and Travel Medicine Center in Hradec Králové, Professor Jiří Beran, and with great success. In both cases, the course of the disease was only mild. It was also used by patients in a home for the elderly in Litovel, where more than 60 people became infected, the magazine writes Forbes. However, the effectiveness of the drug is questioned by epidemiologist Roman Prymula.
Isoprinosine is available in about 70 countries around the world, it can be prescribed by any district doctor of the customer, it costs about 480 crowns, including a supplement. It is used for herpes infections or diseases associated with EB viruses and cytomegaloviruses. But as it turns out, it can also serve well in the fight against coronavirus.
“Either it was a miracle, or it is confirmed that the drug can really trigger immunity, ie increase the number of so-called NK cells (short for Natural Killers), which can fight the virus,” Beran told the server. “Once the virus enters the human body, it tries to reach the susceptible host cell as soon as possible so that it can multiply in it. At that moment, it ceases to be visible to the immune system. Isoprinosine contributes to the fact that information about it appears on the cell surface, and in addition the number of NK cells increases, “he explained the role of the drug.
Sufficient levels of NK cells are crucial, says the professor. Due to the nature of their work, isoprinosine is recommended primarily by healthcare professionals as well as people over the age of 50 and the chronically ill. “When two tablets are taken three times a day, the number of NK cells doubles on the fifth day and the number of people without any symptoms increases dramatically on the seventh to eighth day,” added Beran.
The drug also had favorable results in the Litovel home for the elderly. There, the drug was given to 20 elderly patients. In some, the condition improved slightly during the day, seven patients had to go to the infection department in the Prostějov hospital due to pneumonia, the course of the disease was rather milder.
There is no study, says Prymula
But even if the effects of the drug were really as described by Aries, there is no study to confirm them. According to Beran, the reason may be that it is produced by about 40 companies worldwide and none of them wants to put two to three million euros into a new study that would look at its effects on covid-19. There is no longer a license for the drug and the profit would then be divided among all the companies mentioned.
Roman Prymula, the government’s commissioner for science and research in healthcare, also thinks that relevant data is missing. There are a whole range of those drugs, 15 or 20 of them are being tested, “he told the Echo24 daily. “One cannot draw a conclusion from one case here. There is no study to show that there were comparable individuals in those groups. Based on the conclusion from about two dozen patients, it is not really possible to say that it was a preparation that could help, “he added.
According to him, the significance of the preparation is immunomodulatory, which means that in the first phase it can help to boost the immunity of the infected person. “On the other hand, his danger would probably be if he was given in more severe cases, which have a so-called cytokine storm, that is, their immune system is intensely affected. At this stage, it would be rather counterproductive, because it would still raise the immunity, “says Prymula. “In any case, it is a preparation that is among those that could have an effect,” he added.