Cheap diabetes drug reduces risk of long COVID: study

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Individuals who took an affordable diabetes drug after testing optimistic for COVID-19 had a 40 p.c decrease threat of getting lengthy COVID, a US-based examine mentioned Friday.

The discovering was hailed as a possible “landmark” within the battle towards the nonetheless little-understood situation, which the World Well being Group estimates impacts one in 10 individuals who get COVID.

The examine mentioned it was the primary randomized, placebo-controlled section 3 trial—thought-about the gold commonplace in analysis—to indicate that taking a drug can forestall lengthy COVID.

It examined a drug referred to as metformin, which was initially developed from the French lilac flower, and has been the most typical remedy used to deal with sort 2 diabetes internationally for many years.

This implies the drug is understood to be protected, in addition to being cheap and extensively accessible.

The examine coated 1,126 obese or overweight folks in america, half receiving metformin and half a placebo within the days after testing optimistic for COVID.

After 10 months, 35 of the contributors who took metformin had been identified with lengthy COVID, in comparison with 58 for the placebo group, representing a 40 p.c discount in threat.

The trial was carried out between December 2020 and January 2022, which means it included the Omicron variant, which analysis has prompt causes lengthy COVID at a decrease price than earlier strains.

The group behind the COVID-OUT trial had beforehand proven that metformin decreased coronavirus sufferers’ threat of emergency division visits, hospitalisations and demise by greater than 40 p.c.

Carolyn Bramante, a researcher on the College of Minnesota and the brand new examine’s lead writer, informed AFP that “our knowledge present that metformin reduces the quantity of SARS-CoV-2 virus” in sufferers.

The analysis was printed in The Lancet Infectious Ailments journal.


Jeremy Faust, a physician at Harvard Medical Faculty not concerned the examine, mentioned in a linked remark piece that if confirmed, the findings “are profound and doubtlessly landmark” for lengthy COVID.

Frances Williams, an epidemiology professor at King’s School London, identified that 564 folks needed to take the drug “to forestall 23 hypothetical circumstances”.

“This implies 24 folks would wish to take metformin to forestall one case of lengthy COVID,” she mentioned, including that this was lots of medication to cease such a poorly understood situation.

The researchers cautioned that they didn’t check metformin on individuals who had already been identified with lengthy COVID, so the findings didn’t imply it may very well be used to deal with the situation.

The examine additionally discovered that the antiparasitic drug ivermectin, which was the topic of misinformation all through the pandemic, in addition to the antidepressant fluvoxamine didn’t forestall lengthy COVID.

Tens of hundreds of thousands of individuals have been estimated to have had lengthy COVID, through which quite a few and generally debilitating signs final or recur three months after an infection that may then drag on for years.

The most typical signs embrace fatigue, breathlessness and a scarcity of psychological readability referred to as mind fog.

Extra data:
Carolyn T Bramante et al, Outpatient therapy of COVID-19 and incidence of post-COVID-19 situation over 10 months (COVID-OUT): a multicentre, randomised, quadruple-blind, parallel-group, section 3 trial, The Lancet Infectious Ailments (2023). DOI: 10.1016/S1473-3099(23)00299-2

© 2023 AFP

Low-cost diabetes drug reduces threat of lengthy COVID: examine (2023, June 11)
retrieved 11 June 2023

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