Could A Long-Used Cholesterol Drug Fight Severe COVID-19?
Recent Israeli studies have said, that a drug that lowers cholesterol, might be the answer to Covid-19. Going by the recent results published by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Covid-19 causes a lot of cholesterol buildup in cells. It leads to inflammation. The incumbents have conducted several studies in laboratory settings.
Can Fenofibrate Reduce Patient Hospitalization?
The results revealed that the cholesterol-controlling drug called fenofibrate or tricor reduced damage to the lung cells.
It stops the SARS-CoV-2 from replicating. It has been revealed in a few lab experiments in the last few days.
What Have The Lab Results Revealed?
It has been seen that fenofibrate can reduce patient hospitalization. There are other benefits too. If a patient is administered a dose of fenofibrate, it can decrease the breathlessness patterns as well. The risk of dying also reduces significantly. Alan Richardson, who is a reader in the pharmacology department at Keele University is hopefully, but well-guarded.
He says, that everybody has to exercise caution. The results have been derived from a small sample. The incumbent has said that the drugs work by acting on the metabolic changes, that occur when Coronavirus invades cells. In his research work, Alan Richardson has also found out that TriCor can stop the virus from entering the cells in its entirety. However, he strongly emphasizes patients not to administer these on their own.
In this new trial and research, the researchers gave TriCor to at least 15 patients. They were all hospitalized with severe Covid. Moreover, all the patients were symptomatic with severe pneumonia and breathlessness. The vast majority of patients were on intravenous fluids and required respiratory care.
TriCor is basically medicine that clubbed with a low calories and cholesterol diet can lower bad cholesterol. It also raises the good one.
Results Of The Research Decoded
Dr. Yaakov Nahmias is a biomedical engineer, and also a faculty member at Harvard has said that the results are simply path-breaking. According to Dr. Nahmias, the progressive inflammation markers dropped within 48 hours, after TriCor was administered. About 14-15 patients did not require oxygen support. These results were revealed after about a week of treatment. Earlier, the very same patients and similar cases needed respiratory support. He has also exclaimed that it is not magic. However, the results are crucial in determining the future.
However, the results may be of specific Covid-19 variants. Moreover, all the patients who were administered the drug left the hospital without any side effects.
After four weeks, very few reported side effects. The results are indeed very positive. However, researchers believe that much larger trials are required to prove the drug’s effectiveness. In South America and the United States, two-phase 3 trials are on. Dr. Marc Siegel, a professor of medicine at Langone Medical Center in New York City, has asked everybody to exercise caution.
The same is to be done irrespective o the findings. He said that it is just an observational study. So, it is very early to comment on this issue. No one from the fraternity is sure, whether the medical fraternity will be depending on the drug for long-term usage. He has asked for further studies and findings.
He said, that TriCor may have a good impact. But an anti-viral medication can only be the ultimate savior in the long run. Moreover, this cholesterol drug cannot occupy the place of anti-viral medication developed solely for Covid-19 treatment. Moreover, he said that nothing can replace vaccines.
In the current situation, when the world is bracing for a third wave, the only way is vaccines. There are four to five global vaccines doing the rounds currently. And, researchers are hopeful, that mutations will also be handled well with adequate care and more studies on virus behavior.