The race to develop a treatment for the coronavirus is closer to being won each day, as information about potential new drugs is gathered and released to the public.
One of the places that are releasing this new information to the public is the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, who released a new paper detailing a drug called prazosin. This drug can be used to prevent cytokine storm syndrome, which is very common in coronavirus. Cytokine storm is an overreaction of the immune system that can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Many coronavirus patients who end up with ARDS are forced onto a ventilator, increasing their overall risk of death.
According to the new paper, researchers have already conducted preliminary tests for patients consuming a1-AR antagonists and found that the chances of death were significantly lower in patients consuming the a1-AR antagonists than if they weren't. Prazosin is just one example of a1-AR antagonists, which are commonly used to treat blood pressure and prostate gland enlargement. According to Knowridge, the drug only costs $25 a month and is already being used by millions of people over the past twenty years.
Here's what the researchers wrote in the paper, "Preliminary results from a recent retrospective clinical study revealed that for hospitalized patients diagnosed with pneumonia or acute respiratory distress, the likelihood of requiring mechanical ventilation and dying was significantly lower if patients were taking a1-AR antagonists during the year preceding hospitalization."
"Prospective clinical trials in high risk patients are needed to assess a1-AR antagonist utility in preventing - not treating - COVID-19 [cytokine storms]. We emphasize that the extensive experience with using prazosin for other indications should prioritize - not obviate - rigorous, controlled clinical research rather than indiscriminate off-label use in patients exposed to or infected with SARS-CoV2. Such trials could be expeditiously implemented in areas suffering from high infection rates that are overwhelming hospital capacity."
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