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Saturday, December 4, 2021

Cheap Antidepressant Show Promising Results Treating Covid

While studying different drugs and combinations of drugs that might be effective to treat Covid-19, it was found that a cheap antidepressant was effective in treating high-risk adults with Covid-19 symptoms. And this drug can be repurposed to treat coronavirus if everything goes well. 

The tested pill was earlier used for depression and oppressive-compulsive disorder. It is known to reduce inflammation and showed positive results in small studies.

Cheap Antidepressant Show Promising Results Treating Covid

The researchers have shared the results with the U.S. National Institutes of Health. The Institute is well known for publishing treatment guidelines and is now waiting for the recommendation from WHO. 

Dr. Edward Mills, a Co-Author of the research study working at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario stated that “If WHO recommends this, it could be taken up widely and can save numerous lives.”

Cheap Antidepressant Show Promising Results Treating Covid

The name of the pill is Fluvoxamine. It would cost around $4 for a course of Covid-19 treatment. On comparing this treatment to the current Covid-19 treatments delivered through IV it was found much cheaper. 

The IV treatments could cost up to $2000 per treatment while the antiviral treatment is around $700 per course. If this pill gets approval, everyone will be able to afford the treatment without wasting thousands of dollars. 

The tests for the pill were conducted on around 1500 Brazilians who were recently infected with coronavirus and were at risk of serious illness. The risk was high due to other health conditions like diabetes and hypertension. 

Around half of the people took antidepressants at home for about 10 days while the rest received dummy pills. Each of them was tracked for a month to see who lands in the hospital with extreme sickness or in the emergency room. 11% of the people who took drugs needed hospitalization or extended emergency stay while 16% of the people who took dummy pills needed a hospital stay. 

The results were quite clear and the tests were stopped as suggested by the experts. Although, the right dosage remains under the question mark. Then another question that arises is whether it is safe for patients with lower risk or not? Another question is, whether the pills should be combined with other treatments or not?

The larger project also took place with 8 different kinds of existing drugs to see whether it works against pandemic virus. The project is still under working and testing a hepatitis drug. Although all other drugs including metformin, hydroxychloroquine, and ivermectin haven’t strained out yet. 

Dr. Paul Sax of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, who was not in the study, suggests, “The cheap generic working of Covid-19 pill may be complementary.”

The debate will run a long way and till then the current practices would be put into practice. Everything now depends on the word from WHO about the antidepressant pill. If WHO gives a red signal further studies will be carried to get the answers to the previously mentioned questions. Once they are sorted these antidepressants will be able to serve as the cheapest Covid-19 treatment.

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