Typical Heartburn Drug for COVID-19 Signs?

Self-administered high-dose oral famotidine (Pepcid A/C) was well endured and connected with enhanced patient-reported results in non-hospitalized COVID-19 clients, a little case series discovered.

At day-to-day dosages varying from 60 to 240 mg, the histamine-2 receptor villain commonly utilized to reduce stomach acid production was connected to lowered intensity throughout a variety of signs 24 to 48 hours after beginning treatment in 10 outpatients with a medical medical diagnosis of COVID-19, reported Tobias Janowitz, MD, PhD, of Cold Spring Harbor Lab in New York City. Signs cleared within 14 days, the group stated.

“Our findings support the strenuous assessment of famotidine as a possible treatment and of using sign tracking for non-hospitalized clients with COVID-19,” the scientists composed in their research study online in Gut.

The group warned, nevertheless, that in the meantime the case series just recommends an advantage of famotidine, and it’s unclear how famotidine may operate in COVID-19 — for instance, whether it may disarm the infection in some method or maybe change an individual’s immune action.

For instance, the detectives hypothesized, famotidine might have a viral target, such as among the viral proteases or a host healing target associated with regulating the immunological action to the infection. Chinese scientists just recently anticipated the structures of proteins encoded by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus genome and recognized famotidine as one of the drugs probably to prevent 3-chymotrypsin-like protease, the enzyme that processes proteins necessary for viral duplication.

In addition, a current friend research study from New york city recommended an advantageous impact of famotidine in hospitalized COVID-19 clients, minimizing the threat of medical wear and tear resulting in intubation or death.

Research Study Information

In the brand-new research study, the 10 consecutively registered clients — 9 from the U.S. and one from Sweden — consisted of 6 guys and 4 ladies, and a number of racial/ethic groups: white, black, Hispanic, black-Hispanic, Asian, and South Asian. Clients varied in age from 23 to 71, although many were middle-age.

Numerous of the clients had some severity-related way of life practice or comorbidity such as smoking cigarettes, weight problems, high blood pressure, or hyperlipidemia. Reported signs consisted of body pains, fever, sweating, chest tightness, nasal blockage, and aching throat. The intensity of 5 signs was quantitatively tracked by clients on a scale of 1 (least extreme) to 4 (most extreme).

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All clients reported taking self-administered oral famotidine, with 80 mg 3 times a day the most regular dosage, and the typical treatment duration was 11 days (variety 5-21).

In one case, a 44-year-old white lady with a case history of epilepsy took famotidine 80 mg 3 times daily for 11 days beginning 4 days after very first experiencing signs of COVID-19. She reported that after feeling extremely weak at the beginning, within 1 day of the very first dosage of famotidine, she saw significant enhancement in her shortness of breath. This enhancement was matched by a boost in her home-monitored pulse oximetry-measured oxygen saturation levels, which increased from 91-95% to 97-98%. Prior to beginning the drug, she was febrile with a temperature level of 37.8°C, however was afebrile by day 7 of treatment.

No unfavorable occasions emerged in 7 individuals, while one reported grade 1 lightheadedness and periodic racing heart beat. Another had grade 1 lightheadedness, dry skin, and sleeping disorders, and a 3rd reported grade 1 intestinal signs and short-lived lapse of memory, all of which other than for the last are noted adverse effects of the drug. No client needed later on admission to the healthcare facility.

Requested for her viewpoint, Yamini Natarajan, MD, of Baylor College of Medication in Houston, who was not included with the research study, stated the outcomes support more examination of the results and the system of action of this medication. She warned, nevertheless, that clients in non-blinded research studies might undergo the placebo impact and register enhancement simply by taking the medication, instead of the enhancement being the outcome of the medication itself.

“This research study is a case series, which indicates that there is no control, or contrast, group. As the authors themselves state, this research study does not suggest prevalent usage of of famotidine for COVID, however it does recommend that more research study ought to be performed in a manner in which decreases predisposition,” she informed MedPage Today.

A randomized stage III trial has actually just recently been released to evaluate the effectiveness of high-dose intravenous famotidine 3 times daily in addition to hydroxychloroquine in hospitalized clients with COVID-19. Janowitz and co-authors likewise advised an outpatient research study of oral famotidine for sign control, viral problem, illness result, and influence on long-lasting resistance and transmission.

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Research study restrictions, the scientists kept in mind, consisted of the possible placebo impact, registration predisposition, and recall predisposition relating to signs, which might have impacted the findings as in any non-blinded, non-controlled research study, in spite of the effort to lessen predisposition by asking non-leading concerns, the group stated. Additionally, it is possible that enhancements in signs may have been because of treatment-independent convalescence given that the natural course of COVID-19 in clients not needing healthcare facility admission is not well identified.


Janowitz and co-authors reported having no disputes of interest.

Natarajan reported having no disputes of interest.


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