A study on a drug used to treat COVID-19 patients by a nephrologist and a professor of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras has been published in a peer-reviewed journal Nature. The article, ”An open label randomised clinical trial of indomethacin for mild and moderate hospitalised Covid-19 patients” was published on April 19.
The study used a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin to treat over 200 persons with mild and moderate COVID-19 symptoms during the first and second wave.
Rajan Ravichandran, an adjunct faculty in the institute and director of nephrology at MIOT Hospital, and R. Krishna Kumar, institute professor, conducted the study.
Indomethacin is a Food and Drug Authority-approved drug and is annually prescribed over 20 lakh times.
In the study funded by Kris Gopalakrishnan, an Institute alumnus and chairman of Axilor Ventures, the researchers showed the efficacy of the drug through randomised clinical trial.
Of the 210 COVID-19 patients who received the drug 107 were randomly allocated to a control group. As many as 103 patients were administered indomethacin along with standard care of treatment. These patients were monitored daily for symptoms such as cough, cold, fever and muscle ache along with oxygen saturation. None developed oxygen desaturation.
In the control group in 20 patients, oxygen saturation fell below 93%. While those on indomethacin recovered within three four days the control group took twice that time to recover. Those on the drug did not show any adverse liver and kidney function. Also, fewer patients in the group complained of tiredness while in the control group nearly half the patients had several discomforts, Mr. Krishna Kumar said.
According to Dr. Rajan, the drug works on all variants of SARS CoV-2 virus. “We have done two trials, one in the first wave and the other in the second wave. The results were the same. I sincerely hope the Indian Council of Medical Research takes note of this study and includes indomethacin in COVID treatment protocol,” he said.
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