A cheap, generically available anti-depressant may reduce the risk of severe Covid-19 disease by close to a third in people at high risk, researchers reported Wednesday.A trial among about 1,500 patients in Brazil showed those who took the drug, known as fluvoxamine, were less likely to progress to severe disease and to require hospitalization.
Doctors test popular anti-depressant to see if it fights off Covid-19The drug, sold under the brand name Luvox, is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) most often used to treat obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and depression. But it can affect inflammation, said Dr. Angela Reiersen, an associate professor of psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis who worked on the study, published in The Lancet Global Health.
“Fluvoxamine may reduce the production of inflammatory molecules called cytokines, that can be triggered by SARS-CoV-2 infection,” Reiersen said in a statement. The drug may also reduce blood platelets, which may affect the clotting effects of coronavirus infection.