“There are clear reasons to believe that it could be beneficial, and it is safe, cheap and widely available,” said Peter Horby, one of the trial investigators.
By Pushkala Aripaka and Alistair Smout6 November 2020 Share on FacebookShare Share on TwitterTweet Share on WhatsAppShare
British study studies whether aspirin is effective in fighting coronavirus (Shutterstock.com)
Aspirin, a famous pain reliever, will be evaluated as a possible treatment for COVID-19 in one of the largest trials in the UK , which will assess whether it can reduce the risk of blood clots in people with the disease.
The scientists behind the RECOVERY project, which is looking at a range of potential treatments for COVID-19 , said they will include the drug, which is commonly used as a blood thinner, in their studies.
” There are clear reasons to believe that (aspirin) could be beneficial, and it is safe, cheap and widely available, ” said Peter Horby , co-lead investigator on the trial.
Coronavirus-infected patients are at higher risk for blood clots because of their hyperreactive platelets, the cell fragments that help stop bleeding. Aspirin is an antiplatelet agent and may reduce the risk of clots, the RECOVERY website indicated Friday .
Stock image of people wearing masks walking along Westminster Bridge in London, UK. October 22, 2020. REUTERS / Henry Nicholls
At least 2,000 patients are expected to randomly receive 150 milligrams of aspirin daily alongside their usual regimen. Data from those patients will be compared to at least 2,000 other patients receiving standard COVID-19 treatment on their own, the website said.
Small daily doses of aspirin have been found to reduce the risk of certain cancers. As a blood thinner, it increases the risk of internal bleeding, and taking too much over a long period of time has been associated with kidney damage.
Other treatments tested in the RECOVERY trial are the antibiotic azithromycin and the Regeneron antibody cocktail. which was used to treat the symptoms of COVID-19 by the President of the United States , Donald Trump .
Unlike Gilead's remdesivir , which has been approved as a COVID-19 treatment in the United States but performed poorly in a large World Health Organization trial, aspirin is a generic drug, making it much cheaper to manufacture.
RECOVERY was the first trial to show that dexamethasone, a steroid that is also cheap and widely available, could save the lives of people seriously ill with COVID-19.
It also showed that the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, once touted by Trump, was of no benefit in treating COVID-19 patients.