Diabetes type

Drug Class


Mode of action

Side effects

Antiviral activity


Type 1 Diabetes





Restoration and maintenance of β-cell function

Hypoglycemia, weight gain

No direct effect reported on ACE-2

[36] [37]

Amylinomimetic drug


Synthetic analogue of amylin, helps in regulation of blood glucose and inhibits glucagon secretion

Nausea, anorexia, abdominal pain, hypoglycemia, headache,

No data currently available on their effect COVID-19 patients


Type 2 Diabetes

α-glucosidase inhibitors



competitive inhibitor of α-glucosidase enzyme which hydrolyzes complex sugars into glucose in the small intestine

Diarrhea, hypoglycemia

Disrupt SARS-CoV-2 probably by interfering with S-protein folding mechanisms like N-glycosylation and calnexin pathway; may also effect ACE-2 and membrane fusion between host-virus endosomes

[39] [35] [40]


Metformin (Glucophage, Metformin Hydrochloride ER, Glumetza, Riomet, Fortamet)

Reduce glucose formation in the liver, inhibit mitochondrial repiration, stimulate AMP-activated protein kinase and decreasegluconeogenesis

Gastric problems, vomiting, nausea, weakness, metallic taste in mouth may occur

Stimulation of AMPK pathway and addition of a phosphate group leads to conformational changes and deactivation of ACE-2 receptors. Also inhibits mTOR via liver kinase B1 pathway crucial to SARS-CoV-2 infection.

[30] [31] [41] [42] [43] [44] [45]

Dopamine agonists

Bromocriptine (Cycloset)

lower HbA1c, act mainly on glucose/lipid metabolism and central nervous system

Dizziness, nausea

No data currently available on their effect COVID-19 patients


Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) Inhibitors

Alogliptin Linagliptin Saxagliptin Sitagliptin

inhibit activity of DPP-4, an enzyme which destroys incretins, hormones that stimulate decrease in blood glucose levels

Respiratory infections, headache

Reduce entry and replication of the virus, inhibit ACE and reduce angiotensin-II, diminish cytokine secretion and reduce inflammatory markers in lungs of COVID-19 patients.

[47] [48] [49] [50]

Glucagon like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 receptor agonists)

Albiglutide Dulaglutide Exenatide



mimicincretin and activate GLP-1 receptor

Nausea, vomiting

Suggested that they increase expression of ACE2 receptors but no evidence to date

[51] [52]


Nateglinide Repaglinide

bind to SUR1 receptor on β-cell and stimulate insulin secretion

Weight gain, hypoglycemia

No data currently available on their effect COVID-19 patients