UVA Health calls for participants in COVID-19 medication study

Published: Feb. 21, 2022 at 10:31 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - UVA Health is asking for your help with a nationwide study to find new, effective drugs to treat COVID-19.

The 15,000 people who enroll in the study will help researchers learn more about two repurposed drugs that could be used to treat mild-to-moderate symptoms of COVID-19.

Researchers will be studying the effects of Fluvoxamine, an anti-depressant, and Ivermectin, a pill usually used to treat parasitic infections, in people who tested positive for COVID-19.

The qualifications participants must meet are you have to be over 30-years-old, test positive for COVID-19 within the past 10 days, and have at least two symptoms like fever, fatigue, body aches, loss of taste or smell

“You can be vaccinated and boosted and participate in these trials and certainly I hope that everyone gets vaccinated and boosted,” Doctor Patrick Jackson said, the principal investigator for the clinical trial at UVA Health.

We asked Dr. Jackson how a study like this could help us get to the point in the pandemic where we can live with COVID-19.

“If we can find drugs that are currently FDA approved, cheap, and readily available throughout the world I think that really gets us much closer to being able to turn COVID-19 into a mild illness where people can kind of get therapy,” he said.

Jackson said the reason why the two drugs were chosen is because there have been signs of helpfulness. UVA researchers found the anti-depressant Fluvoxamine can decrease inflammation.

“[Ivermectin] is used as an anti-parasitic drug,” Jackson said. “But it also turns out that in the lab, in petri dishes, very high doses of Ivermectin will stop many viruses from replicating. Not everything that happens in a petri dish pans out to be useful in a human being. But that’s part of the reason why this drug has been included in this clinical trial.”

If someone does become a part of the study, they will be mailed the medication and then have to fill out online surveys to track symptoms for about three months. Jackson said the benefit of this model is that it does not require constant visits to large medical centers, which he hopes will allow for a more diverse and broad population in the study.

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