Researchers announced Wednesday that a low-cost, generically accessible Antidepressants could cut the chance of severe Covid-19 disease by about a third in those at high risk. In a study of roughly 1,500 patients in Brazil, it was discovered that those who took the medicine fluvoxamine were less likely to develop severe disease and require hospitalization. The medicine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) commonly used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and depression. It is offered under the trade name Luvox.
But, according to Dr. Angela Reiersen, an associate professor of psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis who worked on the study, which was published in The Lancet Global Health, it can influence inflammation. Reierson and colleagues provided Covid-19 100 mg fluvoxamine twice a day for ten days to 741 volunteers and a placebo to 756 others. Patients who received fluvoxamine required treatment in an ER or hospital room 79 percent of the time, compared to roughly 16 percent of those who received placebos.
Prozac, or fluoxetine, is a related medicine that is equally inexpensive and widely available, and the researchers believe it should be investigated to see whether it can assist. However, they acknowledged that the study wasn’t flawless. It was carried out in Brazil, and the patients were admitted to the hospital at a higher rate than Covid-19 patients in other trials.