UK News Covid treatment breakthrough as depression pill is found to slash risk

03:15  28 october  2021
03:15  28 october  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Covid treatment breakthrough as 29p antidepressant is found to slash unvaccinated patients' Fluvoxamine — available on prescription under the name Faverin from 29p a tablet — was found to A Covid antibody therapy slashes a patients risk of being hospitalised by 85 per cent, a study has

The first pill to treat coronavirus could be available within months after it was found to cut hospitalisations and deaths by half. If approved, the antiviral drug would be the first simple pill shown to be effective against Covid -19 and would mark a major advance in the fight against the pandemic. Other drugs such as dexamethasone are already saving the lives of the sickest patients in hospital but need to be given as injections or IV infusions. The latest drug, made by Merck, known as MSD outside the US, and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, would be the first that could be taken by at- risk patients at home.

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A cheap antidepressant may cut the risk of an unvaccinated Covid patient needing hospital care by a third, a large Brazilian study suggests.

Fluvoxamine — available on prescription in the UK under the name Faverin — is thought to calm down the immune system due to its anti-inflammatory abilities.

It belongs to a class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which are prescribed to about 70million Britons each year.

The drug, which costs roughly 29p per tablet, was trialled on nearly 741 people who tested positive within seven days and had underlying health conditions.

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A pill taken at home, by contrast, would ease pressure on hospitals and could also help curb outbreaks in poorer and more remote corners of the world that don’t have access to the more expensive infusion therapies. “This would allow us to treat many more people much more quickly and, we trust, much less expensively,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an Merck and its partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics said early results showed patients who received the drug, molnupiravir, within five days of COVID -19 symptoms had about half the rate of hospitalization and death as those who received a dummy pill .

As more reports surface of breakthrough COVID cases, in and outside the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today said it will change how breakthrough cases are reported, effective May 14. According to a statement on the CDC’s website, the agency said A breakthrough case is recorded if a person tests positive for SARS-Cov-2 two weeks after receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson (J&J) shot or completing the two-dose Moderna or Pfizer vaccination. Why the changes matter. In April, the CDC issued new guidance to laboratories recommending reducing the

Patients were given a daily course of two pills for 10 days. Of those given the medication, 79 (10.6 per cent) needed hospital care compared to 15.7 per cent in the placebo group.

Writing in the paper, the researchers said their analysis showed the pills cut the risk of hospitalisation by 32 per cent.

They said the treatment could be used in third-world countries with little access to vaccines because it is ineffective and could help patients.

But experts not involved in the trial said it should be tested in vaccinated patients to determine whether it offers them any benefit and is safe.

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Fluvoxamine works by boosting the amount of serotonin in the brain, which can help to boost someone's mood.

Covid antibody therapy slashes hospitalisation risk by 85 per cent

A Covid antibody therapy slashes a patients risk of being hospitalised by 85 per cent, a study has found.

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Gout pill that costs less than 30p could slash the risk of Covid patients needing hospital treatment by 25%, study shows. Colchicine in an anti-inflammatory drug that is used to treat gout. Last week, a treatment from US drugs company Eli Lilly was found to be 80 percent effective in stopping infections among care home residents. However the Eli Lilly drug is expensive and needs to be administered intravenously, making it more difficult to distribute than the inexpensive colchicine, which comes in pill form.

The researchers also found a possible link between age and breakthrough infections, especially among frail adults over the age of 60, who were almost two times as likely to contract Covid -19 after one vaccine dose than healthy older adults. People living in deprived areas were also more likely to experience breakthrough infections—mostly after the first dose—though the researchers warned this could be explained by other reasons like living conditions and lower levels of vaccine uptake in the community.

Sotrovimab — which is already being used in the US — was administered to almost 600 patients during trials shortly after they tested positive for Covid and experienced symptoms.

Among the 291 who got the treatment three were hospitalised.

But none were admitted to intensive care or died from the disease.

For comparison, among the 292 who got the placebo 21 were hospitalised.

Of these five were later admitted to intensive care and one died from the disease.

Patients in the study — published in the New England Journal of Medicine — were aged 65 years old on average.

The drug uses a man-made antibody to fight Covid and is administered by injection.

Tests suggest its antibodies work well against all variants as well as the original virus.

It is priced at $2,100 a dose, and is made by Vir Biotechnology and GlaxoSmithKline.

The US' Food and Drugs Agency (FDA) have already given it emergency approval.

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A cheap antidepressant lowers the risk of Covid hospitalization, a large study finds . A Covid -19 patient in São Paulo, Brazil, in May. Results from a large clinical trial in Brazil show that the drug fluvoxamine reduced the need for hospitalization or prolonged medical observation among coronavirus patients by one-third.Credit Mauricio Lima for The New York Times. Federal treatment guidelines say that larger trials are necessary to evaluate the use of fluvoxamine for Covid , and scientists said they expected those recommendations to change on the basis of the new study.

These anti-inflammatory treatments are currently used to treat arthritis. REMAP-CAP trial found they are effective at treating severely-ill Covid patients. 'In particular, tocilizumab and sarilumab, and they'll shortly be on everybody's lips, which have been found to reduce the risk of death for critical In one of the biggest medical breakthroughs of the pandemic, scientists found the drugs can boost the

And the European Commission has signed a deal to purchase more than 220,000 doses.

But in Britain no orders for the treatment have been made.

The country's regulators approved Ronapreve — an antibody cocktail used to treat Donald Trump — in August, but doses were slow to arrive sparking frustration among patients and doctors.

Sotrovimab was reported to be 85 per cent effective against hospitalisation by GlaxoSmithKline in May this year,m based on interim results from trials.

But the hormone is also involved in regulating the immune system, and can help prevent it from overreacting and attacking healthy cells, which can be fatal.

Scientists in Brazil launched the study in January 2021, when Covid vaccines were only just beginning to be rolled out.

Participants were recruited from 11 sites in Brazil. They were 50 years old on average and all had at least one underlying health condition, such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.

Some 741 people who had developed symptoms of the virus and tested positive up to seven days ago received the treatment.

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Of these 75 (10 per cent) were hospitalised with the disease, but only one died after catching the virus.

A further 756 patients were placed in the placebo group, and took a pill that did not contain the drug.

Results showed 119 of these were hospitalised (15.7 per cent), and a further 12 (1.6 per cent) died from the virus.

The researchers found no safety concerns with the drug, which is given to

Dr Gilmar Reis, a cardiologist from Belo Horizonte hospital in Brazil and co-principal investigator of the trial, said: 'Our results are consistent with earlier, smaller trials.

'Given fluvoxamine’s safety, tolerability, ease of use, low cost, and widespread availability, these findings may have an important influence on national and international guidelines on clinical management of Covid.'

Professor Edward Mills, a health research scientist at McMaster University in Canada, said the drug could be used for poorer countries.

He said: 'Identifying inexpensive, widely available, and effective therapies against Covid is of great importance, and repurposing existing medications that are widely available and have well-understood safety profiles is of particular interest.'

Professor Penny Ward, a pharmaceutical physician at King's College London who was not involved in the research said: 'Fluvoxamine was identified as a possible treatment for covid based on its effects (as an antiviral) and impact on platelet function (reducing risk of inflammation).'

France in turn controls Molnupiravir, the anti-Covid pill of Merck

 France in turn controls Molnupiravir, the anti-Covid pill of Merck France ordered 50,000 doses of the anti-Covid pill 19 of the American Merck laboratory while the European health authorities examine this treatment that could be crucial. in the fight against the epidemic. "50,000 doses of [Molnupiravir] will be delivered to France from the last days of November or the first days of December, that is to say as soon as the treatments will come out of the production chains" , declared Olivier Véran, Minister of Health, in front of the Senate Tuesday.

But she said: 'Accordingly, while promising, particularly as this product is inexpensive and could be made widely available, the impact on more severe outcomes remains uncertain.

'In addition, given the level of protection against severe disease offered by vaccination, the potential additional benefit of this agent in alleviating breakthrough infection and illness is uncertain as vaccinated patients were excluded from the trial.

'Going forward, the inclusion of patients with vaccine breakthough infection in trials of community based interventions will be important, and trial protocols should be amended to enable inclusion of this important subgroup with appropriate pre-treatment stratification and sample size adjustment to enable meaningful conclusions to be reached.'

The paper was published in The Lancet Global Health.

It is part of the Brazilian Government-funded TOGETHER trial, which looks at promising existing treatments that could be repurposed to help Covid patients.

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