Antidepressant Lowers Risk of Hospitalization Due to Covid-19

Antidepressant Lowers Risk of Hospitalization Due to Covid-19

A specific type of antidepressant may be used to treat corona patients. For example, a large-scale study of nearly 1,500 patients with Covid-19 in Brazil shows that fluvoxamine reduces the risk of long hospitalizations by a third.


The antidepressant fluvoxamine is usually used to treat mental illnesses such as depression and disorders. In addition, the drug has an anti-inflammatory effect. Because Covid-19 can cause an overreaction of the immune system, fluvoxamine appears to be helpful as a treatment for corona patients.

North and South American scientists have administered the drug to 741 corona patients in Brazil; 79 of them (more than 10 percent) had to be hospitalized because of the corona infection. A control group of 756 corona patients received a placebo, of whom 15.7 percent (119 patients) ended up in hospital. The study, published in The Lancet Public Health, concludes that administration of the antidepressant led to a 32 percent decrease in hospital admissions.

“Covid-19 still poses a risk to residents of countries where there are few treatments and vaccinations available,” said researcher Edward Mills of McMaster University. “Identifying cheap and effective Covid-19 drugs that are widely available is therefore of great importance.”

The researchers emphasize that further research is needed because fluvoxamine is not on the World Health Organization (WHO) list of essential drugs. The drug can also be addictive.

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