FDA-approved gout drug shows promise in fight against COVID-19 by stopping virus from multiplying in cells, study finds
- A new study has found that probenecid, a drug used for gout, has been shown to be effective in fighting viruses such as SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid
- The drug has been approved by the FDA since 1979 and is safe to use for people with limited side effects
- Researchers found that the drug can inhibit the replication of virus cells and prevent a person exposed to the virus from becoming infected
- Many drugs used for non-viral diseases have recently been investigated as possible Covid treatments
Probenecid (pictured), a drug used to treat gout, showed promise in a recent study in fighting viruses like COVID-19
A drug used to treat gout may also help fight COVID-19, a new study finds.
Probenecid is a drug approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat the condition that causes tenderness and pain in the joints.
Research published by a team from the University of Georgia finds the drug may also inhibit the replication of virus cells such as SARS-CoV-2 — which causes Covid — and prevent infection.
Limited treatments are currently available for the virus, and many non-virus-treating drugs have been investigated as possible treatments.
The drug works by stopping virus cells from taking over a person’s cells and using them to replicate.
This prevents the virus from spreading through the body and thus limits the chance that someone will become seriously ill.
There are not many drugs on the market that can do this, while the drugs currently used for Covid are more effective after infection.
Researchers, who published their findings in the journal Nature, believe that probenecid can also fight other viruses, such as the common flu.
“There’s really nothing to fight these viruses safely,” lead author Dr. Ralph Tripp, a professor in the Department of Infectious Diseases at the University of Georgia, said in a statement. pronunciation.
‘This antiviral agent works for all of the RNA respiratory viruses we tested, including SARS-CoV-2. RSV, coronavirus and flu are all circulating in the same season. The bottom line is that you may be able to reduce infection and disease with this one oral drug.”
Many of the drugs used in hospitals for COVID-19 treatments are monoclonal antibodies.
The drugs are controversial, with some questioning their effectiveness, and are often not used until a person is in critical condition and hospitalized.
Researchers hope probenecid can be used early in the infection process, long before a Covid patient can become seriously ill from the virus.
“These treatments have seen some effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2, but they are very expensive and very difficult to obtain,” Tripp said.
“In reality, there are only a handful of options that can actually be used because of the cost, limited IV usage and lack of access. That’s not very helpful to the world.’
Probenecid received FDA approval in 1979 and has been commonly used to treat gout patients ever since.
The University of Georgia researchers report that the drug has limited side effects and should be safe to use.
A variety of drugs approved by the FDA for non-virus conditions have also been tested for effectiveness in fighting COVID-19.
Ivermectin, a parasite drug, has recently attracted public attention after some thought it could treat the virus after a study found it could inhibit virus replication — much like probenecid.
However, health experts are skeptical of the drug’s ability to treat viruses in the real world because the concentrations used in the study are too high to be safe for humans.
The University of Minnesota recently launched a trial to test the effectiveness of ivermectin in the fight against Covid, along with a drug for diabetes and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
If proven effective, these drugs could have an impact on the medical world, even after the current pandemic.
Generic versions of these drugs can be produced cheaply and distributed around the world, giving lower-income countries easy access to these potentially effective treatments for a variety of viruses.