A combination of three antiviral drugs appears to help patients recover more quickly from coronavirus infection, doctors in Hong Kong have claimed.
Researchers said when the combination of these drugs is mixed with an immune system booster, the results are even better.
They tested the HIV drug combination of ritonavir and lopanivir along with the general antiviral drug ribavirin and a multiple sclerosis drug called beta interferon.
The patients who got the cocktail tested negative for coronavirus after seven days on average. Those who just got the HIV drugs, often sold under the brand name Kaletra, were positive on average for 12 days, the team reported in the Lancet medical journal.
Patients in the study all had mild to moderate symptoms and were treated within seven days of testing positive. Some doctors thought treating patients earlier in the course of the infection might be better.
The patients given the cocktail also felt better quicker — within four days.
There were, however, a few side-effects too.
The approach needs more testing but it could offer another treatment possibility for COVID-19 patients.