Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Use of Antiandrogens as Therapeutic Agents in COVID-19 Patients

Version 1 : Received: 2 November 2022 / Approved: 3 November 2022 / Online: 3 November 2022 (09:21:09 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Giotis, E.S.; Cil, E.; Brooke, G.N. Use of Antiandrogens as Therapeutic Agents in COVID-19 Patients. Viruses 2022, 14, 2728. Giotis, E.S.; Cil, E.; Brooke, G.N. Use of Antiandrogens as Therapeutic Agents in COVID-19 Patients. Viruses 2022, 14, 2728.


COVID-19, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS CoV-2), is estimated to have caused over 6.5 million deaths to date worldwide. The emergence of fast-evolving SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern alongside increased transmissibility and/or virulence as well as immune and vaccine escape capabilities highlight the urgent need for more effective antivirals to combat the disease in the long run along with regularly updated vaccine boosters. One of the early risk factors identified during the COVID-19 pandemic was that men are more likely to get infected by the virus, more likely to develop severe disease and exhibit higher likelihood of hospitalisation and mortality rates compared to women. An association exists between SARS-CoV-2 infectiveness and disease severity with sex steroid hormones and in particular androgens. Several studies underlined the importance of the androgen-mediated regulation of the host protease TMPRSS2 and the cell entry protein ACE2 as well as the key role of these factors in the entry of the virus into target cells. In this context, modulating androgen signalling is a promising strategy to block viral infection and antiandrogens could be used as a preventative measure at the pre- or early-hospitalisation stage of COVID-19 disease. Different antiandrogens, including commercial drugs used to treat metastatic castration-sensitive prostate cancer and other conditions, have been tested as antivirals with varying success. In this review, we summarise the most recent updates concerning the use of antiandrogens as prophylactic and therapeutic options for COVID-19.


coronavirus; TMPRSS2; ACE2; SARS-CoV-2; androgens; sex hormones; antiandrogens


Biology and Life Sciences, Virology

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