Can this common drug help reduce the risk of long-term covid?

A new study sheds some light on the use of metformin as a tool for long-term prevention of coronavirus.

A new study sheds some light on the use of metformin as a tool for long-term prevention of coronavirus.

A new study sheds some light on the use of metformin as a tool for long-term prevention of coronavirus.

It seems that every time you turn on the news or unlock your phone, new information about it appears Covid-19 Pop-up ad.

Most of this information is relevant to the topic Latest variant EG.5which is also called “iris”, but recently, other promising news has emerged: metformin, a drug generally used to treat type 2 diabetes, can be used to prevent diabetes. long covid.

According to Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, a board-certified internist who specializes in chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, approximately 10% of people who get COVID (even mild cases) develop long-term COVID. This condition is exactly what it sounds like, with symptoms of infection lasting for days, weeks, months and even years.

These complications may include chronic pain, brain fog, shortness of breath, chest pain, and extreme fatigue. Other common symptoms include nausea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, heartburn, and constipation.

Now, doctors are hopeful that metformin may be a solution after a recent study suggested that the common prescription may reduce a person’s risk of developing the condition after contracting the coronavirus. Here’s what the experts want you to know.

What did the study find?

Research published in scalpel In June, it showed that taking metformin for two weeks during acute COVID-19 reduced the risk of long-term COVID-19 by 63%. If started in the first four days of infection. The risk of long-term COVID-19 decreased by 42% if the infected person started taking metformin after four days.

“Metformin has been identified as a therapeutic agent for COVID-19 due to its in vitro antiviral activity, anticoagulant and anti-inflammatory activity, and its action against protein production,” he said. Jennifer Bourgeois, a health and pharmacy expert at SingleCare and was not affiliated with the study. In other words: Metformin may have properties that can reduce clotting, protein production, and inflammation — problems that can be part of long-term Covid disease.

The study examined 1,431 participants between the ages of 30 and 85 who were overweight or obese. All volunteers were given metformin or a metformin placebo. One subset was also given ivermectin (an anti-parasitic drug that people have tried to use to treat COVID-19). Despite experts’ concerns) or a placebo with ivermectin, or fluvoxamine (a mental health medicine Showed some early promise to prevent hospitalizations for COVID patients in high-risk patients) or placebo for fluvoxamine.

The participants then reported their symptoms up to 10 months after the diagnosis of COVID-19; Any long-term diagnoses of coronavirus were also confirmed by the study volunteer’s medical provider. The results showed that the use of metformin experienced the greatest reduction in the risk of infection with the Corona virus in the long term.

The researchers note that “there is a selection bias in that individuals who choose to enroll in clinical trials and complete 10 months of follow-up surveys may not be representative of the general population affected by COVID-19 and long Covid.”

The researchers excluded low-risk adults from the study.

“Further research is needed to determine whether the Covid vaccine contributes to reducing the duration of long Covid and whether metformin is also effective in adults with previous infection who have a normal BMI,” said Dr Philip Kadaj, a physician and medical expert at JustAnswer. .com that was not affiliated with the search.

Here’s what this means for the future of long Covid treatment.

Experts say the results are promising. If this turns out to be true in the real world, it could be a low-cost way to tackle the long-term coronavirus. Metformin has also been shown to be safe for use in children and during pregnancy and lactation as a treatment for diabetes. The researchers hope that the same will apply to the treatment of the Corona virus.

“I would caution readers not to allow the data to evolve a bit more with respect to metformin,” Kadaj said. “I’m not going to run out and start taking medication for long-term coronavirus prevention based on one study. Let the data evolve and accumulate and make decisions based on multiple studies.

While this study with metformin showed good results for some individuals, other methods – eg Using baxlovid After infection – It is also currently being studied as a means of long-term coronavirus prevention. Because the condition is so new, scientists still need to do a lot of research in order to definitively determine the best treatment courses. However, experts agree that these findings could be a game-changer in the future after more studies are conducted.

The best way to prevent long-term coronavirus right now is to do everything you can to not get a coronavirus infection in the first place. Experts still stress that the same precautions we’ve known for years still apply now, including:

Wash your hands.

This is something we’ve been doing our whole lives, but it’s important now more than ever. the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention She recommends rubbing your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds for best results—that’s the equivalent of two “Happy Birthday” songs.

wear a mask.

You can wear a mask when you are in public to help prevent the spread of germs, especially if you are in crowded indoor spaces. Keep the mask over your nose, mouth and chin. the Global Health Organization It is advised not to wear masks with valves.

Get tested and stay home if you are not feeling well.

If you are not feeling well, it is important to stay away from people to reduce the spread of the virus. Getting tested at the first signs of symptoms is also important so you can start any potential treatment you may need, depending on your risk level.

This article has been updated to clarify details of the study results and to remove the incorrect statement that researchers did not control for vaccine status.


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