Fenofibrate is a potentially underused drug for treating respiratory difficulties in COVID-19 patients.

Key Messages

This opinion discusses the potential benefits of using fenofibrate to treat COVID-19 symptoms, particularly its ability to reduce acute respiratory distress syndrome, a condition associated with COVID-19 mortality.

Fenofibrate has multiple properties; it is an anti-inflammatory, an antioxidant, and reduces the formation of new blood vessels, all of which may help to reduce the harmful inflammation seen in severe COVID-19 patients.

The authors warn that one theoretical drawback for fenofibrate is its ability to increase the cellular levels of angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2). ACE2 is used by the SARS-CoV-2 virus as the doorway to enter the cell, so fenofibrate may increase the risk of viral infection.

The authors conclude that fenofibrate is a commonly available, low-cost generic drug that may be useful for treating COVID-19.

Journal of Medical Science And clinical Research

Publication Date: October 10, 2020
Peer Reviewed: Yes
Publication Type: Review/Commentary/Letter
DOI: https://www.doi.org/10.18535/jmscr/v8i10.38

Fenofibrate: An Underused Drug in Treatment of ARDS in COVID-19

Dr Sidhartha Sankar Bhuyan, Junior Resident, Department of Internal Medicine, VIMSAR, Burla


Most of the deaths caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2 (sars-cov-2) is attributable to the high incidence of Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).The mechanism of ARDS has been debatable, with recent researches postulating an inflammatory induced pro-thrombotic state associated with abnormal lipid generation. Fenofibrate, a widely available low-cost generic drug approved by the FDA, may be beneficial in covid-19 owing to its lipid lowering as well as immunomodulatory effects.