This common stomach drug may help treat COVID-19

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COVID-19 has killed many people since it first emerged last December and then spread across the globe.

As scientists scramble to find a vaccine, they have also been examining readily available drugs that may reduce symptoms caused by COVID-19 or help the body fight infection.

In a recent study at Hong Kong University, researchers found that an affordable anti-microbial drug used to treat stomach ulcers and bacterial infections may help fight COVID-19.

The study is published in the journal Nature Microbiology. One author is Hong Kong University researcher Runming Wang.

In the study, the team aimed to explore whether metallodrugs—compounds containing metal that are more commonly used against bacteria—have anti-viral properties that could fight the COVID-19 virus.

They used Syrian hamsters as test subjects and found that one of the drugs, ranitidine bismuth citrate (RBC), showed an anti-SARS-CoV-2 effect.

The researchers found the drug could lower the viral load in the lung of the infected hamster. It can be a potential anti-viral agent for Covid-19.

They say that RBC is a commonly available drug used against stomach ulcers with a safe and comprehensive pharmacological profile. It’s been used for decades so it’s pretty safe.

They suggest that other metallodrugs may also fight against the virus and should be further tested.

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