Biomolecules & Therapeutics  https://doi.org/10.4062/biomolther.2021.134
Small Molecule Drug Candidates for Managing the Clinical Symptoms of COVID-19: a Narrative Review
Chawon Yun1, Hyun Jae Lee2,* and Choong Jae Lee1,*
1Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 35015,
2Smith Liberal Arts College and Department of Addiction Science, Graduate School, Sahmyook University, Seoul 01795, Republic of Korea
*E-mail: hjy1213@syu.ac.kr (Lee HJ), LCJ123@cnu.ac.kr (Lee CJ)
Tel: +82-2-3399-1910 (Lee HJ), +82-42-580-8255 (Lee CJ)
Fax: +82-2-3399-1909 (Lee HJ), +82-42-585-6627 (Lee CJ)
Received: August 11, 2021; Revised: September 10, 2021; Accepted: September 15, 2021; Published online: October 7, 2021.
© The Korean Society of Applied Pharmacology. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract
Towards the end of 2019, an atypical acute respiratory disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was identified in Wuhan, China and subsequently named Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The rapid dissemination of COVID-19 has provoked a global crisis in public health. COVID-19 has been reported to cause sepsis, severe infections in the respiratory tract, multiple organ failure, and pulmonary fibrosis, all of which might induce mortality. Although several vaccines for COVID-19 are currently being administered worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet effectively under control. Therefore, novel therapeutic agents to eradicate the cause of the disease and/or manage the clinical symptoms of COVID-19 should be developed to effectively regulate the current pandemic. In this review, we discuss the possibility of managing the clinical symptoms of COVID-19 using natural products derived from medicinal plants used for controlling pulmonary inflammatory diseases in folk medicine. Diverse natural products have been reported to exert potential antiviral effects in vitro by affecting viral replication, entry into host cells, assembly in host cells, and release. However, the in vivo antiviral effects and clinical antiviral efficacies of these natural products against SARS-CoV-2 have not been successfully proven to date. Thus, these properties need to be elucidated through further investigations, including randomized clinical trials, in order to develop optimal and ideal therapeutic candidates for COVID-19.
Keywords: Natural products, Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19


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