Table of contents:
Video: New York Hospitals Begin Testing Heartburn Drug For COVID-19
New York hospitals begin testing heartburn drug for COVID-19
The inexpensive drug famotidine unexpectedly showed positive results during an epidemic in China.
Photo: CC0 Public Domain
Famotidine, the active ingredient in an over-the-counter heartburn medication, was pioneered by Kevin Tracy, President of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. This idea came to him after Chinese doctors noticed that coronavirus patients who took inexpensive famotidine for heartburn felt much better than other patients. The studies done on Chinese patients have yet to be published, but Michael Callahan, an infectious disease specialist at Massachusetts Hospital, who worked during the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, confirmed these observations. It is noteworthy that cheap famotidine was mainly taken by patients with COVID-19 from poor areas, and they felt much better than their wealthy comrades in misfortune, who relieved heartburn with more expensive medicine.
Some time ago, Florida-based research company Alchem Laboratories used artificial intelligence to find drugs that could help fight the coronavirus, according to Kevin Tracy, and famotidine was one of the first on the list of drugs received. In theory, this drug can stop viral replication similar to the protease inhibitors used to treat HIV.
“There are many examples in the history of medicine when a medicine designed to treat some diseases unexpectedly had an effect on other pathologies,” said Kevin Tracy.
The study involved 187 COVID-19 patients in New York City, Tracy hopes his colleagues will be able to connect at least 1,200 volunteers. Half of the patients will receive megadoses of famotidine (about nine times that of normal heartburn) in addition to hydroxychloroquine. The other half will receive a placebo in saline. It is possible that hydroxychloroquine may be excluded from research. Last week, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the need to phase out the drug in the treatment of coronavirus due to its severe side effects. In addition, recent research has shown no benefits of hydroxychloroquine over other drugs.
Kevin Tracy warned citizens against self-medication, since now there is no data on the effectiveness of famotidine in the treatment of coronavirus, as well as the required doses.
“You don’t have to go to the pharmacy and take heartburn medication to recover from COVID-19,” he said.
Popular by topic
Scientists believe that doctors should be especially careful in prescribing women who have reached menopause
Scientists suggest older people may need additional vaccinations
The vaccine successfully stimulated the production of antibodies and T cells, the scientists did not find any serious side effects
Such a rash on the mucous membrane is characteristic of viral infections
Drug overdose deaths rise in the US