The antidepressant fluvoxamine can reduce by up to 32% the prolonged hospitalizations of outpatients with comorbidities and with Covid-19 diagnosed early. This was the conclusion of a study carried out with Brazilian and Canadian volunteers that was published in the renowned scientific journal The Lancet this Wednesday (27).
The researchers worked with a group of 1,497 unvaccinated Brazilians, with a positive PCR test for the disease and with at least one risk factor for severe Covid, from January 20th to August 5th of this year. The average age of participants was 50 years, and 58% were female. The test was carried out in 11 cities in Minas Gerais.
A group of 756 volunteers received treatment with placebo (drug with no effect). Another group, with 741 people, used 100 ml of the antidepressant twice a day.
Among the participants who received the drug in emergency care, 79 needed to be hospitalized and spent more than six hours in an emergency environment. Among those who received placebo, 119 required more than six hours of hospitalization. The medications were given for ten days to the volunteers.
The results demonstrated a 5% reduction in the risk of prolonged hospitalization or emergency care and a 32% relative risk reduction.
Regarding mortality, only one person in the group that received at least 80% of the drug died and there were 12 deaths among those who received placebo.
In an article published in the journal, researcher Otavio Berwanger, from the Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, in São Paulo, highlighted the importance of the study, but warned that more tests should be carried out before its consistent use in the treatment of Covid-19.
“The definitive answer about the effects of fluvoxamine on individual outcomes, such as mortality and hospitalizations, remains to be addressed. Furthermore, it has not yet been established whether fluvoxamine has an additive effect to other therapies and what the optimal drug regimen is. It remains unclear whether the results for other populations of outpatients with Covid-19, including those without risk factors for disease progression, those who are fully vaccinated, and those infected with the Delta variant or other variants,” writes the expert. .
Fluvoxamine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, a neurotransmitter that acts in communication between nerve cells. The drug is indicated for the treatment of depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders and other mental health problems. Medicines are only sold with a prescription and use against Covid-19 should only be done with medical advice.