The UGA study, released Friday in Nature’s Scientific Reports, found that probenecid, a federally-approved oral medication to treat gout, has broad antiviral properties that makes it a prime candidate to combat not only a SARS-CoV-2 infection, the virus that causes COVID-19, but other viruses like the flu. Probenecid has been on the market for over 40 years and has minimal side effects that include nausea, dizziness, vomiting and headaches.
“This antiviral works for all RNA respiratory viruses we tested, including SARS-CoV-2. RSV, coronavirus and flu all circulate in the same season. Bottom line is you can potentially reduce infection and disease using this one oral drug,” Ralph Tripp, the study’s lead author and longtime professor in UGA’s College of Veterinary Medicine, said in a statement. Tripp is also chief science officer of TrippBio, a pharmaceutical company where the research is in clinical development.