Heartburn drug famotidine may help treat COVID-19, study shows

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Scientists from the University of Virginia found that the heartburn drug famotidine may help treat COVID-19.

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, many elderly patients who survived the virus suffered from chronic heartburn and were taking an inexpensive drug called famotidine, the key ingredient in Pepcid.

The research is published in Signal Transduction & Targeted Therapy and was conducted by Phil Bourne et al.

Famotidine, sold under the brand name Pepcid among others, is a medication that decreases stomach acid production.

It is used to treat peptic ulcer disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease. It is taken by mouth or by injection into a vein.

In the study, the team analyzed information from a database that holds the medical records of millions of COVID-19 patients living in 30 different countries.

The team focused on around 22,000 people, the largest sample size for a study on famotidine and the disease to date.

They showed that when delivered at high doses (the equivalent of about 10 Pepcid tablets), famotidine appears to improve the odds of survival for COVID-19 patients, especially when it is combined with aspirin.

It also seems to hinder the severity of disease progression, making patients less likely to reach the point where they require intubation or a ventilator.

One of the most dangerous phenomena COVID-19 can trigger in your body is something called a cytokine storm, which is a potentially fatal amplification of an immune response.

When you become sick, your immune system releases inflammatory proteins called cytokines that tell your immune cells how to fight the infection.

But in more severe illnesses, cytokine production can spiral out of control, becoming dysregulated.

The team suggests that famotidine suppresses that reaction.

Although it was developed with a specific purpose in mind—blocking the histamine receptors that help produce acid in your stomach—famotidine, like all other medications, can cause side effects.

The researchers believe that interfering with cytokine storms might be one of them.

People generally think of side effects as a bad thing, but in some cases, they can be harnessed to treat other conditions. In the future, it’s possible that famotidine could be re-purposed in this way.

If you care about COVID, please read studies about why smokers have a lower risk of COVID-19, and this drug can block multiple COVID-19 variants.

For more information about COVID, please see recent studies that COVID-19 is a vascular disease, and results showing this drug could inhibit COVID-19 virus, may help treat infections.

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