A widely available drug, used for treatment of asthma and allergies, can also block a protein that is key to replication of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, a study by Indian Institute of Science (IISc) researchers has found.


About the drug

  • The drug, montelukast, is an oral treatment given to prevent wheezing, difficulty breathing, chest tightness, and coughing caused by asthma, and also used to prevent breathing difficulties during exercise.
  • Montelukast is prescribed in India by physicians. It is readily available as tablets and syrup (for kids) in pharmacy shops under different brand names.
  • In fact, some clinicians were using montelukast to treat Covid-19 patients because of its known role in making breathing easier in asthma patients.
  • However, it was not known that this drug also has antiviral activity, which was figured out in this study.