Hungarian doctors have reached a new significant milestone in the fight against the coronavirus. Based on their results, the antidepressant fluoxetine can triple the chance of survival for COVID-19 patients.
It is a well-known fact that stress has a negative effect on our health. Furthermore, it can even worsen the situation in the case of a serious illness. Based on this factor, the Hungarian medical team came up with a creative solution. Their primary purpose was to decrease the Covid-fueled fear of death and anxiety in patients by using medication as effectively as possible. However, they discovered the most potent molecule against Covid during their experiments.
During the case-control study, it has been noticed that the mortality rate decreased by a third among those Covid infected patients who were prescribed an antidepressant called fluoxetine.
The initial aim of the use of the antidepressant fluoxetine was to improve the overall psychological and physical well-being of people infected with Covid. András Holló, neurologist, rehabilitation psychiatrist and project leader of the study team revealed that serotonin-based antidepressants, such as fluoxetine, have been poven to be effective against hepatitis C and some other viruses in laboratory settings for many years. Accordingly, their curative effect was already known before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. This led the study team to conclude that serotoninergic antidepressants may also be able to suppress the so-called cytokine storm, known as the fatal consequence of Covid infection.
The effects of antidepressants could only be accurately evaluated once the third wave had subsided, following highly complex analyses by mathematical statisticians. When analysing the medical records of patients treated between 17 March and 22 April 2021, the Hungarian medical team observed encouraging results in the case of patients treated with the antidepressants. Accordingly, the utilised fluoxetine antidepressant reduced mortality by a third in the Covid ward of the Budapest Uzsoki hospital.
The antidepressant fluoxetine tripled the chance of survival for COVID-19 patients.
According to András Hollós, this is an absolutely unprecedented result because the Covid drugs that have been tried so far did not even come close to this efficacy.
As the Hungarian news portal Index reports, the medical team is now working to present their findings in scientific format as soon as possible. The results have already been published in English in the Journal of Neurology, an internationally indexed and listed journal. The next step is to present their findings to decision-makers, including professional colleagues as well as ministerial and academic committees, at both national and international levels.
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