Large-scale research published Thursday found that treating COVID-19 patients with the antidepressant fluvoxamine may cut the likelihood of extended hospitalization by up to a third.

COVID-19 hospitalization
(Photo : Sergei Bobylev\TASS via Getty Images)
An antidepressant pill might reduce hospitalization.

What is Fluvoxamine?

In a recently published article in MSN News, according to the Mayo Clinic, clinicians commonly prescribe fluvoxamine (brand name Luvox) as a therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression. The medicine, which is available as a generic, belongs to a class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). 

According to the Hormone Health Network, serotonin is a hormone that serves as a neurotransmitter in the brain, where it helps neurons connect with one another and governs mood and pleasure. Fluvoxamine, as well as Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa, and other SSRIs, act by raising serotonin levels in the brain, therefore (ideally) treating mood-related illnesses.

Meanwhile, Fluvoxamine, an antidepressant, was discovered to possibly minimize the amount of COVID patients needing urgent medical treatment, according to new research released on Wednesday, in a published article in Yahoo News.

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Results of the Large-Scale Study

Researchers looked at 1,497 COVID-19 patients with at least one known risk factor for severe illness, such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, or being 50 years old or older, in the study, which was done by researchers in Brazil, the United States, and Canada.

Half of the patients were given a 10-day course of fluvoxamine, administered twice daily, while the other half were given a placebo. The rates of hospitalization were then compared between the two groups. Fluvoxamine-treated patients were 32 percent less likely than placebo-treated patients to be admitted to the hospital, according to a published in The Wall Street Journal.

The results were significantly better for those who completely followed the 10-day regimen, with a 66 percent decrease in hospitalization and a 91 percent reduction in mortality for those who took the drug as prescribed.

New Information Might Offer New Extensive Research

The new evidence might pave the way for future investigation into fluvoxamine and or comparable drugs as a COVID-19 therapy. It is unknown how this may influence COVID-19 risk. Dr. Cherian believes that additional data is needed to see whether there is a link between COVID instances that are not as severe and those who use SSRIs, fluvoxamine, or other antidepressants.

Furthermore, Fluvoxamine is not on the World Health Organization's list of essential drugs, and it may be addictive, according to scientists, so further research is required. Dr. Cherian also emphasizes that there are still several methods available to help minimize your chance of severe COVID, such as the COVID-19 vaccinations.

Gilmar Reis, study co-lead, based in Belo Horizonte, Brazil 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," according to an article published in Web MD.

Needless to say, while Americans await further information on the vaccine boosters, particularly their availability to the general public, this new breakthrough seems to offer some promise in lowering COVID-19 patient hospitalization rates.

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