An inexpensive antidepressant called fluvoxamine can reportedly prevent COVID-19 patients from developing life-threatening conditions. According to a new study, it can suppress the body’s natural defenses.
The latest findings came in the study called, “TOGETHER Trial,” led by Edward Mills, Ph.D., FRCP, and researchers at McMaster University in Toronto, Canada. They evaluated the drug administered in 3,238 Brazilian patients with COVID-19 symptoms and had chances of suffering from risk progression.
The patients were randomly assigned with 100 mg of fluvoxamine, placebo, or other treatments like hydroxychloroquine, lopivinar/ritovinar, metformin, ivermectin, doxazosin, and interferon lambda twice a day. Of the 3,238 patients, 739 received fluvoxamine.
Among the individuals who receive fluvoxamine, the risk of progressed symptoms, hospital admission, or emergency room observation was lower than those who received a placebo. Fluvoxamine also did not cause significant adverse effects, Optometry Times reported.
In a statement, researchers said: “Treatment with fluvoxamine (100 mg twice daily for ten days) among high-risk outpatients with early diagnosed COVID-19 reduced the need for extended emergency room observation or hospitalization.” The reduction was reportedly 30 percent. No other drug as of now has been shown to prevent the need for hospitalization except for fluvoxamine.
Further, unlike other drugs that were administered in COVID-19 patients, fluvoxamine is more affordable as it only costs $4 for a ten-day treatment. Since the pandemic, Mills has been committed to finding therapies for COVID-19 that will be widely accessible.
Mills said that the vaccines are available only to well-off nations, so he worked with a global network of health specialists to address this matter. The TOGETHER Trial has been testing many drugs to treat COVID-19 like hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir, metformin, ivermectin, Peg-interferon-Lambda, and doxazosin.
However, during the early stages of the study, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir, and metformin had been dropped because the results failed to find a substantial benefit for COVID-19. The initial test for ivermectin also did not yield positive results, and they are still waiting for the second test results with a different dosage.
The results have not been peer-reviewed yet. However, these were presented before the United States National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization.