Drug Long Used for Alcoholism Might Fight Severe COVID-19

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News Picture: Drug Long Used for Alcoholism Might Fight Severe COVID-19

TUESDAY, Nov. 23, 2021 (HealthDay Information)

A extensively obtainable drug used to deal with alcoholism has potential as a COVID-19 therapy, researchers say.

The investigators discovered that individuals taking disulfiram (Antabuse) for alcoholism had a decrease threat of an infection with SARS-CoV-2 and have been much less prone to die from COVID-19 if contaminated than these not taking the drug.

The study was observational, so it would not set up a cause-and-effect hyperlink between disulfiram and COVID an infection and outcomes. Nonetheless, the outcomes are encouraging sufficient to warrant additional examine and medical testing, in line with researchers at Harvard Medical College and Boston Kids’s Hospital.

“It is a nice candidate for a repurposed drug. It might simply be made obtainable worldwide if we are able to show it has a optimistic impact on sufferers with COVID-19,” stated Chris Sander, a professor of cell biology at Harvard Medical College.

For the examine, the researchers analyzed information from greater than 944,000 U.S. veterans who had a minimum of one SARS-CoV-2 check between February 2020 and February 2021, together with greater than 2,200 who had been prescribed disulfiram for alcoholism.

The examine discovered that these taking disulfiram had a 34% decrease charge of SARS-CoV-2 an infection than those that weren’t taking the drug. Not one of the contaminated veterans who have been taking disulfiram died, in contrast with 3% of contaminated veterans who weren’t taking the drug.

The findings have been just lately revealed on-line within the journal PLOS ONE.

“There’s proof that disulfiram not solely reduces the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 an infection, however it could really scale back the variety of deaths,” Sander stated in a Harvard information launch.

It isn’t clear how the drug could fight SARS-CoV-2, however the researchers recommended it could intervene with an enzyme the virus wants to duplicate. It is also potential that disulfiram could scale back the chance of extreme COVID-19 by inhibiting a protein concerned in hyperinflammation.

A small, randomized section 2 medical trial of disulfiram in sufferers with reasonable COVID-19 is nearing completion, and one other is underway. Sander and colleagues hope their examine will result in giant worldwide section 3 trials of the drug.

If disulfiram proves to be efficient, it might be added to the rising variety of choices to combat COVID-19, the researchers stated.

They famous that disulfiram has been prescribed for greater than 60 years as a therapy for alcoholism, and that it is secure, cheap, acquainted to physicians, and extensively utilized in many international locations.

Extra info

The U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention outlines COVID-19 treatments.

SOURCE: Harvard Medical College, information launch, Nov. 17, 2021

Robert Preidt

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