Prozac and a Drug Used to Treat THRUSH ‘Potently Affected’ Covid in Lab Tests, Study Finds
- Laboratory tests showed decreased replication of the coronavirus in laboratory tests
- This was seen when remdesevir was combined with itraconazole and Prozac
- Itraconazole antifungal is used to treat thrush and infected toenails
- Prozac is a common drug prescribed as an antidepressant
A common antidepressant and anti-fungal treatment that has been used for decades may help treat Covid, a new study claims.
The anti-fungal agent itraconazole, which is used to treat thrush and infected toenails, killed the virus in experiments.
Fluoxetine, the antidepressant more commonly known as Prozac, was also effective, data shows.
Both drugs are already approved for human use and worked best in conjunction with the antiviral inhibitor desivir, scientists said.
It offers hope for a ‘Covid cocktail’, say the German and Finnish team, who now hope to start tasting with humans.
The anti-fungal agent itraconazole, which is used to treat thrush and infected toenails, killed the virus in experiments. Fluoxetine, the antidepressant more commonly known as Prozac (pictured), was also effective, data shows
Both treatments blocked the growth and replication of SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes Covid-19 – in cells grown in a lab, the study found.
The combined therapy blocked production by more than 90 percent, the report said British Journal of PharmacologY.
There is no cure for Covid, but some treatments have been found that increase survival.
For example, the Oxford-led RECOVERY study found that the steroid dexamethasone and the arthritis drugs tocilizumab and sarilumab are effective in treating Covid-19.
Dexamethasone is a £ 5 drug that reduces the risk of death by as much as 35 percent on its own.
A Common Antidepressant And Antifungal Treatment Used For Decades May Help Treat Covid, New Study Allows
One tablet of ASPIRIN per day can reduce your risk of getting Covid-19 by up to 29 percent
Taking aspirin pills may help protect against coronavirus infection, a study suggests.
The usual, inexpensive, and safe drug is often prescribed to prevent heart disease and strokes, as well as a regular over-the-counter pain reliever.
Data from more than 10,000 people tested on Covid between February and June 2020 revealed that one aspirin tablet (75 mg) per day reduced the risk of contracting the virus by 29 percent.
It remains unknown exactly how aspirin can prevent coronavirus infection, but the authors believe its antiviral properties stem from its ability to alter how the immune system responds to the pathogen.
However, people on dexamethasone alone still had a 35.8 percent mortality rate, but this dropped to just 25.3 percent when they also received a single dose of tocilizumab or sarilumab, costing about £ 1,000 per treatment.
All three are now approved for use on the NHS.
The new research offers hope that other drugs that are safe for humans can be reused to treat Covid.
Senior author Professor Ursula Rescher, from the University of Münster, said: “A simple approach to accelerate drug development at a lower cost is repurposing.
‘We tested the antiviral potential of the anti-fungal itraconazole and the anti-depressant fluoxetine on the production of infectious SARS-CoV-2 particles.
“We also evaluated the added benefit of a combined use of these host-targeted drugs with the direct-acting antiviral inhibition desivir.
“Drug treatments were well tolerated and had a greatly reduced viral replication.”
The combination with remdesivir are “promising starting points” for therapeutic options to control SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe progression of Covid-19, she said.
But many promising treatments showed promise in the laboratory stage, but proved to be ineffective in human trials.
Such examples include restorative plasma, hydroxychloroquine, aspirin and colchicine.
“The translation of lab results to the clinics remains a major challenge,” admits Professor Rescher.