The potential role of bromhexine in COVID-19 – Has a possible new candidate been “coughed” up?

Keywords: bromhexine, COVID-19, TMPRSS2, clinical trials

Abstract

In the midst of the current COVID-19 global pandemic, a global search is underway to explore current medicines for possible repurposed potential in COVID-19. Drugs may show promise in theory, but are they supported by clinical evidence? Bromhexine is an example of such a drug which may be a promising candidate to explore further in COVID-19 as a TMPRSS2 protease inhibitor. In this article, the authors aim to review the stages of COVID-19 best suitable for prophylaxis and treatment, with a special focus on bromhexine as a potential therapeutic candidate. Studies that investigated bromhexine in COVID-19 showed promising results. However, it was concluded that current studies are not presenting strong evidence in its support due to various limitations. Future clinical trials should address current limitations of studies by focusing on improved trial design, larger sample sizes, with improved homogeneity related to participants and treatment regimens, in order to gain more information on the potential role of bromhexine in COVID-19.

Author Biographies

T Pillay, University of Pretoria

Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of Pretoria, South Africa

M Strydom, University of Pretoria

Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Published
2021-10-25
Section
Review