J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2021 Jan-Feb;35(1 Suppl. 2):15-19. doi: 10.23812/21-1supp2-4.

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Glycyrrhizin for topical use and prophylaxis of COVID-19: an interesting pharmacological perspective

Passali D1, Ciprandi G2, Damiani V3, De Marco AM3, Cianfrone F4, Passali FM5.

Author information

1 International Federation ORL Societies (IFOS) Executive Board members, Rome, Italy.
2 Consultant Allergist, Casa di Cura Villa Montallegro, Genoa, Italy.
3 Medical Department, DMG Italy, Pomezia, Rome.
4 ENT Clinic, ASL RM1, San Filippo Neri Hospital, Rome, Italy.
5 Department, University Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.


COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS – CoV – 2 pathogen, is currently a pandemic. At the moment there is not an available vaccine, so, scientific community is looking for strategies and drugs to implement prevention and prophylaxis. Several compounds are examined for this purpose. Glycyrrhizin, an alkaloid extracted from licorice plant (glycyrriza glabra), is one of the most studied molecules, both for its peculiar biological functions and for its pharmacological effects. This brief review aims to highlight the characteristics of glycyrrhizin for topical use on the nasal and ocular surfaces. The anti-inflammatory activity, the ability to inhibit the accumulation of ROS, the antiviral property, but, above all, the ability to bind the ACE receptor and the SARS – CoV-2 protein S in the extracellular environment make Glycyrrhizzin for topical use a compound with a high prophylactic potential for SARS – CoV – 2 infection, also due to its low cost and the absence of significant side effects.


COVID-19, Glycyrrhizin, Prophylaxis, SARS CoV-2

Publication type

  • Review

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