A recent study published supports the use of tetracycline as an immunomodulatory drug for COVID-19. These drugs have an anti-inflammatory effect and a broad-spectrum antibacterial activity. These drugs have been very useful in treating HIV and malaria. Their ability to suppress the proliferation of T cells and decrease the production of inflammation-signalling molecules is something that helps in the process.
The research aimed to show the efficacy of these drugs in patients with ARDS in the past two decades. The drugs that were monitored were minocycline, doxycycline, and tetracycline and the outcomes that were expected were whether tetracyclines could decrease the need for mechanical ventilation including the duration of stay in the intensive care unit (ICU) among patients with ARDS in comparison to other patients who hadn’t received these drugs previously. The study revealed that patients with ARDS and the drugs were 75% less likely in need of mechanical ventilation during their hospitalization.
Randomized clinical trials should be encouraged because of the availability and cheapness, including the high tolerability of tetracyclines. It can help explore the drug potential as preventives for patients who are at high risk for COVID-19 and especially for ARDS. These drugs should be used as a preventive therapy in patients with ARDS during the SARS-CoV -2 infection.