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Dr Marie Sartain
/ Categories: APhA News

Could famotidine reduce COVID-19 symptoms?

According to outpatient clinical trial results recently published in Gut, the common heartburn medication Pepcid (famotidine) could improve the recovery of symptomatic patients diagnosed with COVID-19.

Adults with mild to moderate COVID-19 who took famotidine during the trial exhibited an earlier resolution of type-I interferon release from SARS-CoV-2–infected epithelial cells without reduced antiviral immunity. Patients self-administered 80 mg of famotidine or placebo orally 3 times a day for 14 consecutive days during the study period.

"We found that famotidine is safe at the higher doses used and see molecular and clinical evidence that it improves the recovery of symptomatic patients of diverse ancestries diagnosed with COVID-19," said lead investigator Tobias Janowitz, MD, in a news release.

"We closely monitored patients in this fully remote clinical trial while protecting their safety and that of health care providers in pandemic conditions. We hope that the data we are sharing with this study guide future trials that are necessary to confirm famotidine as a treatment for patients with COVID-19," said Janowitz, who is with Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research at Northwell Health and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York.

Previous studies have shown famotidine turns inflammation down by blocking a specific molecular pathway. These new findings confirm that famotidine leads to earlier resolution of inflammation in patients diagnosed with COVID-19 and alleviates symptoms of the disease, but the research team said additional randomized trials are required.

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