Famotidine & Covid-19
The coronavirus pandemic is believed to have originated in China’s Wuhan, and it’s in this town that a possible link between famotidine and Covid-19 survival was first noticed.
Doctors who worked with coronavirus patients in Wuhan reportedly discovered that although one in five Covid-19 patients aged above 80 had died, many among the survivors had been “taking heartburn meds”.
“Hospitalised COVID-19 patients on famotidine appeared to be dying at a rate of about 14% compared with 27% for those not on the drug, although the analysis was crude and the result was not statistically significant,” Science Magazine noted in 26 April report.
In light of the reports, scientists in the US began a trial to explore famotidine’s potential.
On 28 April, Kevin Tracey, president of Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research at Northwell Health, a New York City-based healthcare provider, told Science Magazine that “preliminary results of a clinical trial of famotidine could be ready in the next few weeks”.
The trials started on 7 April at Northwell, one of the largest hospitals in New York City. “As of 25 April, 1,174 patients — including 187 who were critically ill — have taken part,” a report on Health.com said.
Northwell Health CEO Michael Dowling told CNBC earlier this week that scientists working on a drug trial have “a reasonable confidence” that the drug may make a difference in the treatment of Covid-19 patients.
The same hospital is also studying Gilead Sciences’ remdesivir, an experimental drug that has also been touted as having potential in treating Covid-19.