The University of Virginia, School of Medicine conducted a small trial of treating COVID-19 patients with fluvoxamine, an antidepressant. The clinical trial included 80 adult participants who were given the drug, while 72 were given a placebo. None of the 80 outpatients developed severe symptoms, nor were they hospitalized, unlike some who were given the placebo.
“The patients who took fluvoxamine did not develop serious breathing difficulties or require hospitalization for problems with lung function, “ said Eric J. Lenze, MD, of the Washington University School of Medicine. “Most investigational treatments for COVID-19 have been aimed at the very sickest patients, but it’s also important to find therapies that prevent patients from getting sick enough to require supplemental oxygen or to have to go to the hospital. Our studies suggest fluvoxamine may help fill that niche.”
The researchers confirmed that the trial had a lot of limitations. It was a small trial. About a fifth of the participants stopped answering surveys during the 15-day duration of the trial. They are hopeful that a larger trial will show better results and it could become a perfect treatment for newly diagnosed COVID-19 patients.
Gaultier said, “Fluvoxamine is not an experimental drug, it is cheap and safe and could be used as a first line of defense to unburden the hospitals that are overwhelmed by the COVID health crisis.”