This existing drug can prevent COVID death

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

In a recent study published in The Lancet, researchers found an inexpensive repurposed drug called fluvoxamine can save the lives of COVID-19 patients and cut hospital admissions by up to 30%.

The study is from McMaster University. One author is Edward Mills.

They treated 739 Brazilian COVID-19 patients with fluvoxamine, with another 733 receiving a placebo, between Jan. 15 to Aug. 6 of this year.

Every patient who received fluvoxamine during the trial was tracked for 28 days to determine their health outcomes and if they still need hospital treatment.

Researchers found about a 30% reduction in hospitalizations among those receiving fluvoxamine compared to those receiving the placebo.

This effect went up to 65% among patients taking all of their drugs.  The fluvoxamine trial formed part of the larger TOGETHER Trial that started in May 2020, aiming to test potential COVID-19 treatments in a community setting.

The team says fluvoxamine is the only treatment that if administered early, can prevent COVID-19 from becoming a life-threatening illness.

It could be one of our most powerful weapons against the virus and its effectiveness is one of the most important discoveries researchers have made since the pandemic began

In addition, this cheap, easily-accessible pill is a massive boon to public health, both in Canada and internationally, allowing hospitals to avoid expensive and sometimes risky treatments.

Costing about $4 per 10-day course, fluvoxamine could be a game-changer for poorer countries with low vaccination rates and lacking access to more advanced COVID-19 therapies.

Fluvoxamine has been used since the 1990s for various conditions and its safety profile is well-known. It was identified early in the pandemic for its potential to reduce the cytokine storm in COVID-19 patients.

Cytokine storms are severe immune responses to COVID-19 that can cause potentially lethal organ damage.

If you care about COVID-19, please read studies about two root causes of severe COVID-19, and findings of common drug that could almost halve COVID-19 death risk.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about why having bad oral health could raise the risk of COVID, and results showing that physical inactivity linked to severe COVID-19 and death.

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