As mental health professionals grapple with the wave of anxiety and depression associated with the pandemic, a research doctor at the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences is studying whether Commonly prescribed antidepressants can actually fight the effects of the Coronavirus In itself.
More known to consumers under the brand name Prozac, Fluoxetine is primarily used to treat panic attacks, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Sherrill McCollumsmith, A professor and chair of the department of psychiatry at the University of Toledo, is leading a clinical trial with the goal of determining whether outpatient fluoxetine treatment can reduce severe Covid-19 outcomes such as hospitalization, intubation and death.
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Sherrill McCollumsmith, Professor and head of the department of psychiatry at UToledo, at the start of the epidemic that a great deal of research showed that fluoxetine has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties. What is most interesting is that it has been shown to inhibit the expression of a cell-signaling protein called interleukin-6.
“Interleukin-6 is an indication that the body thinks it must do everything in its power to fight infection,” McCollumsmith said. “The body’s overall immune response is called a cytokine storm.”The body realizes that it can die in the processBut he feels he is so vulnerable to this virus that if he doesn’t, he will die anyway. ”
Research has “tremendous potential”
This uncontrolled immune response, which can quickly lead to multiple organ failure, is one of the The leading causes of death in Covid-19 patients. McCollumsmith is now conducting a clinical trial through the University of Toledo Medical Center to administer fluoxetine in an outpatient setting with the aim of determining whether the drug can reduce dangerous outcomes such as hospitalization, intubation and death from Covid-19.
We hope to show that people are still getting sick but the second stage can be avoided.
He added, “Fluoxetine is a well-studied drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and has a strong safety profile for its approved uses.” “This research has enormous potential. What we hope to show is that people can still get sick, but the second stage, the toxic phase where people enter the tube and suffer from multiple organ failure, can be prevented.”
McCollumsmith also aims Studying whether giving fluoxetine early after diagnosis can prevent patients from experiencing long-term side effects about Infection, such as inflammation and persistent damage to the heart, lungs, and other organ systems.
“If we can mitigate or stop the cytokine storm, what will be the effect on later organ damage?” He said, “We really don’t know what is driving that. This research could have important implications beyond the treatment of acute cases. ”The expert is sure, in addition, that this study adds weight to The theory that antidepressants may be useful in the battle against COVID-19.
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