Fluvoxamine, a cheap repurposed drug, can cut COVID-19 hospitalisations by up to 30%, according to a new study
A research team from McMaster University selected 739 random Brazilian COVID-19 patients and treated them with fluvoxamine, an inexpensive repurposed drug. They also gave another 733 patients a placebo drug between January 15th to August 6th 2021.
Those who received fluvoxamine were tracked for 28 days and presented a 30% reduction in hospitalisations compared to those receiving the placebo.
Edward Mills, co-principal investigator for the TOGETHER Trial and a professor of McMaster’s Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact, said:
“Fluvoxamine is, so far, the only treatment that if administered early, can prevent COVID-19 from becoming a life-threatening illness. It could be one of our most powerful weapons against the virus and its effectiveness is one of the most important discoveries we have made since the pandemic began.
“In addition, this cheap, easily-accessible pill is a massive boon to public health, both in Canada and internationally, allowing hospitals to avoid expensive and sometimes risky treatments.”
Fluvoxamine has been used since the 1990s and only costs $4 per 10-day course.
TOGETHER Trial researchers published their findings in The Lancet.
FastGrants and The Rainwater Foundation funded the study.