Does diabetes drug prevent severe severe COVID-19?

Reduced deaths by 44% and perjury by 50% in clinical trials involving 6,600 people

One study found that metformin reduced the risk of dying from COVID-19 by 44%.[사진= 게티이미지뱅크]

A new study has found that metformin, a diabetes drug, can prevent death or hospitalization if you contract COVID-19. This is the content reported by the health medicine webzine ‘Health Day’ on the 23rd (local time) on the basis of a thesis by researchers from the University of Minnesota, USA published in 《PLOS ONE》.

Researchers led by University of Minnesota School of Medicine professor Carolney Bramante conducted a clinical study of 6,626 type 2 diabetic patients infected with COVID-19. They prescribed mettormin and another anti-diabetic drug, the sulfonylurea, and compared their effectiveness. The results showed a 44% lower risk of dying from COVID-19 in the metformin group and a 50% lower chance that symptoms got worse enough to require a ventilator.

“It is consistent with previous studies and other clinical trials that have shown metformin’s protective effect against COVID-19,” said Bramante, which has antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects.

In early laboratory studies, metaform inhibited the growth of SARS-CoV-2. Additionally, in a clinical study for overweight or obese patients, it was found that when metformin was prescribed for COVID-19, the likelihood of visiting an emergency room, hospitalization, or death was reduced by more than 40%. % and when prescribed at the onset of symptoms, by more than 50%.

Discovered in French lilac blossoms in the 1920s, metformin was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1994 as a treatment for diabetes. According to a paper by Johns Hopkins University researchers who spearheaded the approval at this time, this drug reduces the liver’s ability to release sugar into the bloodstream.

In 1940s and 1950s articles on metformin, it appears to show a preventive effect against the flu. In the 2010s, the antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects against viruses such as Zika virus and hepatitis C were also tested. Hence, it became a candidate for a treatment for COVID-19.

Professor Bramante said: ‘The preventive effect of metformin is good in the early stages of symptoms.’ When prescribed 4 days before or after the onset of actual symptoms, the most effective prevention of death and severe symptoms was observed. “The mechanism by which metformin prevents SARS-CoV-2 from multiplying appears to be because it inhibits a protein called MTOR, which the virus uses to assemble itself before becoming a new set of viruses outside the cell,” he explained.

Metformin has already been approved by the FDA, so doctors can prescribe it “off label.” What’s more, the safety has already been tested and the drug may be an affordable COVID-19 treatment costing less than $4 a month, Professor Bramante said. Metformin is approved for use in pregnant women and children with few drug interactions. The most common side effect is gastrointestinal discomfort, but this usually goes away when the dose is reduced.

Professor William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University, medical director of the National Infectious Disease Foundation, who reviewed the paper, said: ‘I think metformin may be useful for treating Corona 19.’

The paper can be found at the following link (https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0271574).

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