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Non-steroidal drug effective in treating mild Covid: IIT-M study

Non-steroidal drug effective in treating mild Covid: IIT-M study

NEW DELHI: Research at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras promises a new line of treatment for mild to moderate Covid infection. Trials designed by researchers at IIT-M have shown efficacy of Indomethacin, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, in treating hospitalised mild and moderate Covid-19 patients. The findings of this study have recently been published in the prestigious peer-reviewed journal Nature Scientific Reports, officials said on Friday.

The research team claims that their work promises a new dimension to Covid-19 mild infection as Indomethacin is an affordable drug. The study, conducted at Panimalar Medical College and Research Institute (PMCRI), was led by Dr Rajan Ravichandran, an adjunct faculty at the institute and director nephrology at MIOT hospitals.

Indomethacin, with more than 20 lakh prescriptions per year in the US alone, is an established drug widely used since 1960s to treat various types of inflammation-related ailments.The Indian researchers are the first to show the efficacy of Indomethacin through a randomised clinical trial, though the scientific basis has been researched by Italian and US scientists.
“Knowing that one of the deadly effects of the Coronavirus infection is inflammation and the cytokine storm, we decided to study the non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, Indomethacin. The scientific evidence strongly shows the anti-viral action against the virus. Indomethacin is a safe and well-understood drug. I have been using it in my profession for the past 30 years,” said Dr. Ravichandran.
Dr Ravichandran added that Indomethacin works with all variants. “We had done two trials, one in the first wave and the other in the second wave. The results were the same. I hope ICMR takes note of this study and includes Indomethacin in Covid-19 treatment protocol,” said Ravichandran. 
Highlighting the research findings, professor R Krishna Kumar of IIT-Madras, said: “Out of a total of 210 admitted patients, 107 were randomly allocated to a control group, treated with paracetamol and standard care of treatment. 103 patients were administered Indomethacin along with standard care of treatment.
“Indomethacin group patients recovered from all symptoms in three to four days. It took double the time for the control group. Liver and kidney function tests showed no adverse reaction. The fourteenth day follow up showed that nearly half of the control group patients had several discomforts while a few Indomethacin patients complained only of tiredness,” he added.

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