New York, Aug 19 (IANS): Metformin, a commonly prescribed diabetes medication, can help lower the odds of emergency department visits, hospitalisations, or death due to Covid-19 by over 50 per cent if prescribed early in onset of symptoms, finds a study.
"Our trial suggests that metformin may reduce the likelihood of needing to go to the emergency room or be hospitalised for Covid-19," said Carolyn Bramante, Assistant Professor of internal medicine and paediatrics at the University of Minnesota Medical School.
The study examined whether metformin, low-dose fluvoxamine, an antidepressant; and ivermectin, an antiparasitic, or their combinations could serve as possible treatments to prevent ER visits or hospitalisation, as well as Long-Covid in 1,323 participants including pregnant women.
The findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found no positive effect from treatment with either ivermectin or low-dose fluvoxamine.
The study also included both who were vaccinated and those who were not.
"Although we know Covid-19 vaccines are highly effective, we know that some new strains of the virus may evade immunity and vaccines may not be available worldwide. So we felt we should study safe, available and inexpensive outpatient treatment options as soon as possible," said Bramante.
"Understanding whether outpatient treatments could ensure more people survive the illness if they contract it and have fewer long-term symptoms is an important piece of the pandemic response.
"Observational studies and in vitro experiments cannot be conclusive but do contribute to bodies of evidence," Bramante noted.