Covid-19: Could aspirin be an over-the-counter treatment for coronavirus?
If clinical trials are successful, the drug could cut down the risk of dying from the virus by half.
While scientist and researchers all around the world are working round-the-clock to discover a vaccine to check the advance of coronavirus, a team of researchers have found what could perhaps be the first ever over-the-counter (OTC) medicine treatment for Covid-19.
A team of researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) have found that a daily low-dose of Aspirin, could see the number of patients being admitted to the ICU or placed on a ventilator drop by more than 40 percent. Aspirin could also cut down the risk of dying from the virus by half.
Aspirin takers were more likely to survive the infection compared to hospitalised patients who were not taking the medicine. The study, published today in the journal Anesthesia and Analgesia, provides “cautious optimism,” the researchers say, for an inexpensive, accessible medication with a well-known safety profile that could help prevent severe complications.
“This is a critical finding that needs to be confirmed through a randomized clinical trial,” said study leader Jonathan Chow, MD, Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at UMSOM.
“If our finding is confirmed, it would make aspirin the first widely available, over-the-counter medication to reduce mortality in COVID-19 patients.”
Doctors often recommend a daily low-dose aspirin for patients who have previously had a heart attack or stroke caused by a blood clot to prevent future blood clots, according to a story posted on www.medschool.umaryland.edu
“We believe that the blood thinning effects of Aspirin provides benefits for Covid-19 patients by preventing microclot formation,” said study co-author Michael A. Mazzeffi, MD, Associate Professor of Anesthesiology at UMSOM.
Coronavirus increases the risk of dangerous - and often deadly - blood clots that can form in the heart, lungs and blood vessels. However, Aspirin use interferes with how the blood clots, which the team believes is why the medications has benefits for those with Covid-19.
'We believe that the blood thinning effects of aspirin provides benefits for COVID-19 patients by preventing microclot formation,' said co-author Dr Michael Mazzeffi, an associate professor of anesthesiology at UMSOM.
“This study adds to the tremendous work our researchers are doing in the School of Medicine to help find new treatments against Covid-19 and save patients' lives,” said DR E. Albert Reece, Dean of USOM.
“While confirmatory studies are needed to prove that aspirin use leads to better outcomes in COVID-19, the evidence thus far suggests that patients may want to discuss with their doctor whether it is safe for them to take aspirin to manage potentially prevent serious complications.”
While this piece of news comes as a ray of hope, companies all over the world are also conducting Covid vaccine trails. AstraZeneca has resumed the US trial of its experimental Covid-19 vaccine after approval by regulators, and Johnson & Johnson was going ahead and resuming its trial.
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