Research Brings Good News for Treating Severe COVID-19 Illness With an Antidepressant

Research Brings Good News for Treating Severe COVID-19 Illness With an Antidepressant

Although the pharmaceutical company Pfizer is close to having its COVID-19 vaccine approved, the disease continues to cause a lot of deaths and sorrow throughout the world. There’s a current global death toll of about 10,000 people every day due to the virus, but there’s plenty of hope that the horror will end soon.

Pretty much everyone suffers from depression at least once in life nowadays, and new research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine provides hope that the SARS CoV-2 virus could be killed with an antidepressant.

Fluvoxamine enters the spotlight

Fluvoxamine is the anti-depressive drug that some scientists are counting on for preventing the worsening of infections with COVID-19. The vast majority of those who catch the disease are facing mild and harmless symptoms, especially young people. But there’s still a percentage of patients who become very ill due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and some of them will die, especially if they also suffer from diabetes, heart diseases, and more.

The clinical trial brings good news

The Washington University School of Medicine conducted a trial in St. Louis, providing fluvoxamine to 80 patients and a placebo to 152 other people. None of those 80 patients who were treated with fluvoxamine became very ill after a period of 15 days. Instead, six of the patients who received the placebo did – four of them needed hospitalization, while another one had to be treated with a ventilator.

Eric J. Lenze, MD at the Washington University School of Medicine, declared:

“The patients who took fluvoxamine did not develop serious breathing difficulties or require hospitalization for problems with lung function,”

He also added:

“Most investigational treatments for COVID-19 have been aimed at the very sickest patients, but it’s also important to find therapies that prevent patients from getting sick enough to require supplemental oxygen or to have to go to the hospital. Our study suggests fluvoxamine may help fill that niche.”

The researchers are optimistic about the necessity of another scientific study for the antidepressant fluvoxamine, as it could be officially approved as a treatment for COVID-19. An even larger trial will be initiated in several weeks for that matter.



Anna is an avid blogger with an educational background in medicine and mental health. She is a generalist with many other interests including nutrition, women's health, astronomy and photography. In her free time from work and writing, Anna enjoys nature walks, reading, and listening to jazz and classical music.

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