Antidepressant Reduces COVID-19 Hospitalizations: Study – .

Antidepressant Reduces COVID-19 Hospitalizations: Study – .

An affordable antidepressant has been found in a clinical trial to reduce the risk of hospitalization in high-risk adults with newly diagnosed COVID-19, according to a study published in The Lancet Global Health.
The drug, known as fluvoxamine, is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) commonly used in the treatment of depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other mood disorders. . Its low price makes it a desirable treatment option for poorer countries, the researchers wrote.

Researchers began studying the drug during the height of the pandemic due to the antidepressant’s ability to reduce inflammation, according to the New York Times. The researchers therefore speculated that the drug could allow the body to suppress an overwhelming response to a COVID-19 infection.

Other studies have been published in recent months on fluvoxamine that have also shown promising results, however, no study has been as large as the one published on Wednesday, according to the NYT.

The study involved around 1,500 Brazilian adults, half of whom received an antidepressant and the other half a placebo. The study found that the drug reduced the need for hospitalization or medical observation by about a third.

According to the Times, a portion of patients found it difficult to tolerate SSRIs – which usually include side effects such as nausea, weight gain, sleep disturbances, sexual dysfunction, diarrhea and more – and stopped taking it.

However, the benefits were greatest in those who continued to take the drug under a doctor’s direction. In this group, the risk of hospitalization was reduced by two-thirds and only one patient died while taking fluvoxamine, compared to 12 who died while on placebo.

US News reports that the results have been shared with the US National Institutes of Health, which publish treatment guidelines, and are hoping for a recommendation from the World Health Organization (WHO).

“If the WHO recommends it, you’ll see it widely adopted,” study co-author Edward Mills of McMaster University said in the US News report, noting its affordability. Compared to IV antibody treatments which cost around $ 2,000 and Merck’s antiviral pill for COVID which is expected to cost around $ 700, US News reports.

“We hope this will save a lot of lives,” said McMaster.


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