NEW YORK - Could Pepcid - a common over-the-counter heartburn drug be the answer to a potential COVID-19 treatment?
Researchers at Feinstein Institutes and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory started a virtual clinical trial to evaluate how effective famotidine commonly known as Pepcid is for the outpatient treatment of coronavirus in adults. They’re using 80 milligrams - a stronger dose than than what you’d find in stores. Half of the participants will take the placebo three times a day while the other half will take the drug itself. They’ll do this for 2 weeks and then be monitored for 28 days.
"We’re looking at this to see if the H2 receptor blocker can actually alleviate the immune systems and quiet down the symptoms of COVID 19," said Dr. Christina Brennan, VP of Clinical Research at Feinstein Institutes. "We provide the patient with an apple iPad and other Bluetooth technology tools to monitor their symptoms."
They’re looking for 84 patients. To be eligible you must be between the ages of 18 and 80 with a confirmed COVID positive within 72 hours of enrolling. Researchers are looking to finish recruitment by early March the latest and have results out by the end of April.
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Jennifer Scruggs of Bethpage was one of the first to enroll.
"I thought why not," she said. "I wake up every day, take my weight, I do temperature checks, take my oxygen level and breathing."
She was diagnosed with COVID-19 in late January. Just days after her husband William tested positive too and also joined the trial to contribute to science.
"I have Type 2 diabetes," he said. "If this can help someone else why not give it a try."
Neither of them know if they’re taking the antacid or placebo. But if it proves to work and in fact lessons the symptoms and reduces hospitalization like the goal of the study - they said it could be worth it.
For more information on signing up visit: Clinicaltrials@northwell.edu