Existing, inexpensive, and safe drugs that can reduce the impact of COVID-19 infection are gaining some attention. Among these “repurposed” medications, fluvoxamine shows great promise in treating the coronavirus.
The television news show “60 Minutes” featured a discussion of fluvoxamine, a drug usually used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder. The director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, was interviewed for the piece and noted that “a big need right now is for a drug that you could take by mouth, that you could be offered as soon as you had a positive test, and that would reduce the likelihood that the virus is going to make you really sick.”
Fluvoxamine appears to fit these requirements. In initial studies, people infected with COVID-19 who took fluvoxamine avoided serious complications compared to those who did not take the medicine.
Larger clinical trials are underway to provide conclusive evidence of fluvoxamine’s ability to fight COVID-19, with the hope that the drug may be used to save lives soon. For information on participating in clinical trials of fluvoxamine or other promising repurposed drugs, see our COVID-19 page.