Long COVID risk reduced by common diabetes drug

Metformin, a drug commonly used to treat diabetes, can reduce the risk of developing long COVID by over 40%, according to a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

There are currently no drugs available to treat long COVID; however, this chronic – and possibly debilitating – condition can affect up to 10% of people who have had COVID-19.

However, researchers from the University of Minnesota (UMN) and the University of North Carolina investigated the ability of three different medications (metformin, ivermectin and fluvoxamine) to reduce the risk of long COVID when administered during acute infection. Neither ivermectin nor fluvoxamine were seen to reduce the risk of the chronic condition, and at a 10-month follow-up, 6.3% of people who received metformin had developed long COVID, compared with 10.4% of those who took a placebo. This represents a 41% lower risk of long COVID for patients who received metformin. In participants who started metformin less than four days after their symptoms began, the risk of developing long COVID was decreased by 63%.

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