Use of antidepressant found to reduce Covid 19 hospitalisations


The ‘TOGETHER’ trial discovered that high-risk covid patients treated with fluvoxamine (an antidepressant used to treat depressive illness and OCD) had a reduced risk of hospitalisation.

The trial comprised of almost 1500 adults with either cardiovascular disease or diabetes alongside symptomatic Covid 19. They found there was absolute risk reduction of 5% and a relative risk reduction of 32% for participants treated with the antidepressant compared to the placebo. As far as we know, this is the first controlled trial of this kind.

“Use of antidepressant found to reduce Covid 19 hospitalisations.“

The reasons why the antidepressant has this effect on Covid 19 patients “remains uncertain”, but the anti-inflammatory potential of fluvoxamine may be a contributing factor.

Colin Davidson, professor at the University of Central Lancashire, said “In short, fluvoxamine not only binds to the serotonin transporter but also inhibits the sigma-1 receptor involved in cytokine production and the immune response. Fluvoxamine could reduce an out of control immune response, the so-called ‘cytokine storm’, and thereby reduce hospitalisation due to COVID-19. The Lancet manuscript also suggests that fluvoxamine might have a useful effect through antiplatelet activity, reducing the chances of thrombosis.”

Gilmar Reis, a researcher based in Belo Horizonte, said “Given fluvoxamine’s safety, tolerability, ease of use, low cost, and widespread availability, these findings may have an important influence on national and international guidelines on clinical management of COVID-19.”

Edward Mills, a professor in the Department of Health Research Methods, said, “Identifying inexpensive, widely available and effective therapies against COVID-19 is therefore of great importance, and repurposing existing medications that are widely available and have well-understood safety profiles is of particular interest.”

Dr Marta Tessarolo, University of Bologna, said, “PEDOT:PS is an organic semiconducting polymer that can be easily deposited on several substrates as a standard ink. We also incorporated a cheap, disposable and bandage-compatible RFID tag, like those used for clothing security tags, into the textile patch.”

Dr Luca Possanzini, one of the study’s authors, said “We developed a range of bandages with various layers and different absorption properties and characteristics. The idea is that each type of wound could have its own appropriate dressing, from slowly exuding wounds to highly exuding wounds, such as burns and blisters. However, we will need to further optimise the sensor geometry and determine the appropriate sensor values for optimal healing before we can apply our technology to various types of wounds.”

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