In a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers found metoprolol, a drug widely used to treat heart disease, is beneficial when administered to COVID-19 patients.
The study is from Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares. One author is Dr. Borja Ibáñez.
The most severe form of COVID-19 is severe respiratory failure, which requires intubation and is associated with a high mortality rate.
Pulmonary infection with the SARS-CoV2 virus can progress to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), in which inflammation and neutrophil hyperactivation play a central role.
There is currently a lack of therapies for ARDS associated with COVID-19.
In a previous study, the team discovered that metoprolol, a well-established beta-blocker, has a highly selective effect on hyperactivated neutrophils during situations of acute stress such as a heart attack.
Given the central role played by neutrophils in ARDS, the team postulated that metoprolol might be an effective treatment for patients with severe COVID-19.
The team assigned 20 intubated COVID-19 patients to receive intravenous metoprolol (15 mg per day over 3 days) or to a control group that did not receive metoprolol.
They found that the metroprolol treatment strongly reduced neutrophil infiltration of the lungs and improved oxygenation.
There was a clear trend among the metoprolol-treated patients to require fewer days on mechanical ventilation and therefore a shorter stay in the ICU.
The team says that metoprolol treatment in this clinical setting is safe, is linked to a very strong reduction in lung infiltration, and appears to lead to very rapid improvements in patient oxygenation.
The researchers, therefore, propose intravenous metoprolol as a promising intervention that could improve the prognosis of severely ill COVID-19 patients.
They also emphasize that metoprolol is a safe and cheap drug (daily treatment cost below €2) that is readily available.
If you care about severe COVID, please read studies about people with these blood types may have lower risk of severe COVID-19 and findings of this stuff in the body may prevent severe COVID-19 infection.
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