There is a possible role for oxidative stress, a state characterized by an altered balance between the production of free radicals or reactive oxygen species (ROS) and antioxidant defences, in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the genesis of which is quite complex. Excessive oxidative stress could be responsible for the alveolar damage, thrombosis, and red blood cell dysregulation observed in COVID-19. Apparently, deficiency of glutathione (GSH), a low-molecular-weight thiol that is the most important non-enzymatic antioxidant molecule and has the potential to keep the cytokine storm in check, is a plausible explanation for the severe manifestations and death in COVID-19 patients. Thiol drugs, which are considered mucolytic, also possess potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They exhibit antibacterial activity against a variety of medically important bacteria and may be an effective strategy against influenza virus infection. The importance of oxidative stress during COVID-19 and the various pharmacological characteristics of thiol-based drugs suggest a possible role of thiols in the treatment of COVID-19. Oral and intravenous GSH, as well as GSH precursors such as N-acetylcysteine (NAC), or drugs containing the thiol moiety (erdosteine) may represent a novel therapeutic approach to block NF-kB and address the cytokine storm syndrome and respiratory distress observed in COVID-19 pneumonia patients

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