Gout drug tested as treatment for coronavirus in large UK trial

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An anti-inflammatory drug widely used to treat gout and other conditions is the latest to be added to a large-scale trial in the UK that is investigating potential treatments for the coronavirus.

Researchers leading the COVID-19 Therapy Randomized Evaluation Trial (RECOVERY) said colchicine will be tested in hospitalized patients with coronavirus.

“Colchicine is an interesting drug to evaluate in the RECOVERY trial because it is very well understood, inexpensive and widely available,” said Professor Peter Horby, co-chief investigator of the RECOVERY trial, in a press release. hurry. “If that works, it would be another COVID-19 treatment that could be used immediately around the world, even in the poorest countries.”

Colchicine costs around $ 124 for 30 capsules, according to Reuters.

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In addition to gout, the drug is already approved to treat inflammatory conditions such as pericarditis. According to the organizers of the trial, inflammation is a factor in severe cases of COVID-19, which can lead to lung damage, the need for ventilators and even death.

“Inflammation plays a major role in COVID-19 and we have already shown that treatment with a single anti-inflammatory drug, dexamethasone, can reduce the number of deaths in patients with the most severe COVID-19″, Professor Martin Landray, co-head of RECOVERY, said in the press release. “Colchicine is widely used to treat gout and other inflammatory conditions such as pericarditis. By including colchicine in the RECOVERY trial, we will be able to determine if it is helping to fight the worst consequences of COVID-19. ”

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The drug will be administered to a maximum of 2,500 patients enrolled in the trial at doses of 1,000 micrograms initially, then 500 micrograms every 12 hours for up to 10 days. The trial will assess mortality after 28 days as well as the impact on hospital stay and the need for ventilation, according to the press release.

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The drug joins several other treatments studied in the RECOVERY trial, including tocilizumab, convalescent plasma, Regeneron and aspirin. Investigators say they have already closed the listing for azithromycin.

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