A “blueprint” that reveals how the new coronavirus infects human cells and which drugs could impact that process has also led researchers to caution about a common ingredient in cough medicine.
Dextromethorphan — an over-the-counter cough suppressant found in more than 120 cough and cold products — was found to have “pro-viral activity” in lab experiments and “therefore its use should merit caution and further study in the context of COVID-19,” wrote the authors of the study, published in Nature on Thursday.
Since coughing is a key warning sign of the coronavirus infection, that would be extra worrisome for the many people trying to soothe their symptoms with cough syrup or lozenges.
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But the findings don’t necessarily mean people should stop using medicine with this ingredient, said Brian Shoichet, one of the researchers and professor of pharmaceutical chemistry