This study evaluated the efficacy of approved drugs "off-label" against SARS-CoV-2 on precision-cut human lung slices. Fluoxetine inhibited SARS-CoV-2 in these screens and decreased viral infectivity in the lung slices, demonstrating its activity in relevant human tissues in severe infections. Fluoxetine treatment resulted in a decrease in viral protein expression. In contrast, the drug did not inhibit rabies virus or human respiratory syncytial virus replication, nor did it inhibit human herpesvirus 8 or herpes simplex virus type 1 gene expression, suggesting that it is virus-specific. In addition, because fluoxetine is known to inhibit the release of cytokines, fluoxetine may be significant in the treatment of SARS-CoV-2-infected patients from high-risk groups.
The serotonin reuptake inhibitor Fluoxetine inhibits SARS-CoV-2 in human lung tissue
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