Time reports encouraging news about long covid drug treatment

TIME: Researchers Are Getting Closer to Learning How to Treat and Prevent Long COVID

Time reports on some early signs that certain drugs may help avoid Long Covid developing and might alleviate some of the symptoms for those who have the illness. Results are preliminary and any favourable outcomes speculative at this point.


Three years into the COVID-19 pandemic, with millions of people around the world suffering from long-term complications of the virus, there is still no proven way to treat or prevent Long COVID—besides not getting infected in the first place.

Recently, however, there’s been reason for cautious optimism. Researchers have found promising (though preliminary) signs that certain drugs may reduce the risk of developing Long COVID, and possibly even ease symptoms among people who are already sick.”

“The latest hopeful news relates to metformin, an accessible and affordable drug that’s been U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved to treat Type 2 diabetes since the 1990s. Metformin, which belongs to a class of drugs called biguanides, is taken as a liquid or pill and works by controlling the amount of sugar in the blood. It also decreases inflammation in the body.

“In a study that was posted online in March but has not yet been peer-reviewed, researchers tracked a group of 564 overweight or obese U.S. adults who started a two-week course of metformin when they had acute COVID-19. People who took metformin had a 42% lower chance of being diagnosed with Long COVID over the following 10 months, compared to those who took a placebo when they first got sick with COVID-19. (The study also tracked the effects of drugs ivermectin and fluvoxamine, but neither showed a benefit against Long COVID)…

“Some tools used to treat people with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, a post-viral condition that shares key symptoms with Long COVID (including extreme fatigue and crashes after exertion), may also be effective for people with post-COVID complications, according to an article published in Nature Reviews Microbiology in January. These tools include an energy-rationing strategy known as pacing, the anti-inflammatory drug low-dose naltrexone, and beta blockers to slow heart rate and lower blood pressure. Antihistamines have also been shown in small studies to reduce some Long COVID symptoms, including fatigue, brain fog, and an inability to exercise, as have blood-thinning drugs…”

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