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N-Acetylcysteine to Combat COVID-19: An Evidence Review

Authors Shi Z, Puyo CA

Received 24 July 2020

Accepted for publication 8 October 2020

Published 2 November 2020 Volume 2020:16 Pages 1047—1055


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Garry Walsh

Zhongcheng Shi,1,2 Carlos A Puyo3

1Department of Pathology and Immunology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA; 2Department of Pathology, Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston, TX, USA; 3Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care, Holy Family Hospital, Steward Health Care, Methuen, MA, USA

Correspondence: Zhongcheng Shi Tel +1- 832-824-0814

Abstract: The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by a virus (SARS-Cov-2) and is known for inducing multisystem organ dysfunction associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Current therapeutic strategies for COVID-19 have failed to effectively reduce mortality rate, especially for elderly patients. A newly developed vaccine against SARS-Cov-2 has been reported to induce the production of neutralizing antibodies in young volunteers. However, the vaccine has shown limited benefit in the elderly, suggesting an age-dependent immune response. As a result, exploring new applications of existing medications could potentially provide valuable treatments for COVID-19. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) has been used in clinical practice to treat critically ill septic patients, and more recently for COVID-19 patients. NAC has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating characteristics that may prove beneficial in the treatment and prevention of SARS-Cov-2. This review offers a thorough analysis of NAC and discusses its potential use for treatment of COVID-19.

Keywords: N-acetylcysteine, SARS-Cov-2, COVID-19

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