Cheap Antidepressant: A new Treatment for Early COVID-19


by Hamna Bano

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This drug can reduce the risk of hospitalization among high-risk patients of the virus. This particular pill was previously known to cure depression and obsessive-compulsive disorders but has now shown amazing results in treating inflammation.


According to the co-author of the study Dr. Edward Mills of McMaster  University Hamilton,‘If WHO approves this, you will see it widely taken up. We hope it will lead to a lot of saved lives. Many of the poor countries already have this drug available.”

This drug called fluvoxamine was tested in 1500 Brazilians who recently got infected by Covid and were at risk of severe illness. About half of them took this antidepressant at home for 10 days. After tracking them for 4 weeks, the results showed 11 percent of those who took the pill needed hospitalization or ER stay, and 16 percent of those who didn't take the pill landed in the hospital.

The results were then published in the journal Lancet Global Health on Wednesday. They were so strong that the experts observing the study suggested stopping its use early as the results were clear. But the question that remained behind was whether the pill should be combined with other treatments or is beneficial for the patients with lower risk of disease.

Dr. Paul Sax of Brigham and Women’s Hospital said that “the cheap generic and Merck’s covid-19 pill work in different ways and may be complementary.” Work is now being done on the authorization of its antiviral pill. This project is still working on eight different drugs to see their effect on the pandemic virus. However, the experts predict various treatments will be used in future in combination to fight coronavirus.