Pentoxifylline and Oxypurinol: Potential Drugs to Prevent the Caused by SARS-CoV-2?
López-Iranzo Francisco J,López-Rodas Ana M,Franco Luis,López-Rodas Gerardo
Current pharmaceutical design
BACKGROUND:COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV-2, is a potentially lethal, rapidly-expanding pandemic and many efforts are being carried out worldwide to understand and control the disease. COVID-19 patients may display a cytokine release syndrome, which causes severe lung inflammation, leading, in many instances, to death. OBJECTIVE:This paper is intended to explore the possibilities of controlling the COVID-19-associated hyperinflammation by using licensed drugs with anti-inflammatory effects. HYPOTHESIS:We have previously described that pentoxifylline alone, or in combination with oxypurinol, reduces the systemic inflammation caused by experimentally-induced pancreatitis in rats. Pentoxifylline is an inhibitor of TNF-α production and oxypurinol inhibits xanthine oxidase. TNF-α, in turn, activates other inflammatory genes such as Nos2, Icam or IL-6, which regulate migration and infiltration of neutrophils into the pulmonary interstitial tissue, causing injury to the lung parenchyma. In acute pancreatitis, the anti-inflammatory action of pentoxifylline seems to be mediated by the prevention of the rapid and presumably transient loss of PP2A activity. This may also occur in the hyperinflammatory -cytokine releasing phase- of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Therefore, it may be hypothesized that early treatment of COVID-19 patients with pentoxifylline, alone or in combination with oxypurinol, would prevent the potentially lethal acute respiratory distress syndrome. CONCLUSION:Pentoxifylline and oxypurinol are licensed drugs used for diseases other than COVID-19 and, therefore, phase I clinical trials would not be necessary for the administration to SARS-CoV-2- infected people. It would be worth investigating their potential effects against the hyperinflammatory response to SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Hypothesis: Pentoxifylline is a potential cytokine modulator therapeutic in COVID-19 patients.
Hendry Bruce M,Stafford Nina,Arnold Ahran D,Sangwaiya Arvind,Manglam Vijay,Rosen Stuart D,Arnold Jayantha
Pharmacology research & perspectives
We propose a new hypothesis that the established drug pentoxifylline deserves attention as a potential repurposed therapeutic for COVID-19. Pentoxifylline is an immunomodulator with anti-inflammatory properties. It is a nonselective phosphodiesterase inhibitor and through Adenosine A2A Receptor-mediated pathways reduces tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin 1, interleukin 6, and interferon gamma and may act to reduce tissue damage during the cytokine storm host response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. This agent has been used clinically for many years and has a favorable profile of safety and tolerability. Pre-clinical data support pentoxifylline as effective in cytokine-driven lung damage. Clinical studies of pentoxifylline in radiation and cytokine-induced lung damage in humans are positive and consistent with anti-inflammatory efficacy. Pentoxifylline is a readily available, off-patent and inexpensive drug, suitable for large-scale use including in resource-limited countries. Current trials of therapeutics are largely focused on the inhibition of viral processes. We advocate urgent randomized trials of pentoxifylline for COVID-19 as a complementary approach to target the host responses.
Can pentoxifylline and similar xanthine derivatives find a niche in COVID-19 therapeutic strategies? A ray of hope in the midst of the pandemic.
Monji Faezeh,Al-Mahmood Siddiquee Abrar,Hashemian Farshad
European journal of pharmacology
COVID-19 pandemic presents an unprecedented challenge to identify effective drugs for treatment. Despite multiple clinical trials using different agents, there is still a lack of specific treatment for COVID-19. Having the potential role in suppressing inflammation, immune modulation, antiviral and improving respiratory symptoms, this review discusses the potential role of methylxanthine drugs like pentoxifylline and caffeine in the management of COVID-19 patients. COVID-19 pathogenesis for clinical features like severe pneumonia, acute lung injury (ALI) / acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and multi-organ failures are excessive inflammation, oxidation, and cytokine storm by the exaggerated immune response. Drugs like pentoxifylline have already shown improvement of the symptoms of ARDS and caffeine has been in clinical use for decades to treat apnea of prematurity (AOP) in preterm infants and improve respiratory function. Pentoxifylline is well-known anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative molecules that have already shown to suppress Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF-α) as well as other inflammatory cytokines in pulmonary diseases, and this may be beneficial for better clinical outcomes in COVID-19 patients. Pentoxifylline enhances blood flow, improves microcirculation and tissue oxygenation, and caffeine also efficiently improves tissue oxygenation, asthma, decreases pulmonary hypertension and an effective analgesic. There are significant shreds of evidence that proved the properties of pentoxifylline and caffeine against virus-related diseases as well. Along with the aforementioned evidences and high safety profiles, both pentoxifylline and caffeine offer a glimpse of considerations for future use as a potential adjuvant to COVID-19 treatment. However, additional clinical studies are required to confirm this speculation.
Pentoxifylline decreases serum LDH levels and increases lymphocyte count in COVID-19 patients: Results from an external pilot study.
Maldonado Valente,Hernandez-Ramírez Claudia,Oliva-Pérez Eniel Alonso,Sánchez-Martínez César Omar,Pimentel-González Jorge Fabián,Molina-Sánchez José Raúl,Jiménez-Villalba Yeimmy Zuyenn,Chávez-Alderete Jaime,Loza-Mejía Marco A
We have previously hypothesized that pentoxifylline could be beneficial for the treatment of COVID-19 given its potential to restore the immune response equilibrium, reduce the impact of the disease on the endothelium and alveolar epithelial cells, and improve the circulatory function.Serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and lymphocyte count are accessible biomarkers that correlate with the severity of COVID-19, the need for hospitalization, and mortality, reflecting the host immune response's contribution to the seriousness of SARS-CoV-2 infection. We carried out this external pilot study on 38 patients with moderate and severe COVID-19 to test the effect pentoxifylline on parameters such as LDH, lymphocyte count, days of hospitalization, mortality, and proportion of patients requiring intubation. Twenty-six patients were randomized to receive 400 mg of pentoxifylline t.i.d. plus standard therapy (pentoxifylline group), while the rest received the standard treatment (control group). Linear regression models were built for statistically significant parameters. Pentoxifylline treatment was associated with a 64.25% increase (CI95% 11.83, 116.68) in lymphocyte count and a 29.61% decrease (CI95% 15.11, 44.10) in serum LDH. Although a trend towards reduced days of hospitalization, mortality, and proportion of patients requiring intubation was observed, no statistically significant difference was found for these parameters. Our findings open the possibility of pentoxifylline being repositioned as a drug for COVID-19 treatment with the advantages of a proven safety profile, availability, and no risk of immunosuppression; however, this evidence needs to be confirmed in a pragmatic randomized controlled trial.