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Antidepressants and COVID-19

Angie SzumlinskiStudies

COVID-19 can result in serious illness leading to hospitalization, intensive care unit admission, and death. Clinical deterioration typically occurs during the second week of illness. Early studies of COVID-19 found that hospitalization most often occurs within 8 to 10 days of initially mild to moderate symptoms. Further evidence suggested that lung damage from COVID-19 was related to an excessive inflammatory response, prompting numerous trials of immunomodulatory drugs.

In a preliminary randomized clinical trial, fluvoxamine (Luvox) was associated with a reduction in clinical deterioration in adult outpatients with COVID-19. No fluvoxamine-treated patients met criteria for clinical deterioration as defined in the study, whereas 8.3% of patients taking placebo met this end point. If fluvoxamine is determined to be effective in treating COVID-19, the underlying mechanism needs further clarification.

Wouldn’t it be something if a drug that is commonly used to treat depression could also fight off the SARS-CoV-2 virus? It might be wishful thinking; this was a limited study, however, it is research like this that has gotten us this far in the race for a vaccine, so I never downplay any study that shows promise!

Stay the course, stay strong, stay well, mask up, and stay tuned!