COVID-19: could aspirin be used to treat the virus?

Aspirin, an anti-inflammatory drug that is widely available over the counter, might prove useful in dealing with COVID-19. According to a new American study, this drug, which is commonly used for pain relief such as headaches or to lower fevers, could be used to prevent the risk of complications associated with the virus…

COVID-19: could aspirin be used to treat the virus?
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COVID-19: could aspirin be used to treat the virus?

Now that the UK and many other countries around the world are experiencing a second wave, the number of positive cases and people being hospitalised has been increasing week by week. But a recent American study has revealed that one particular drug that we most likely already have in our medicine cabinet could be used to reduce the risks of complications associated with COVID-19.

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COVID-19: Could aspirin reduce the risks of complications?

Researchers at the University of Maryland (United States) have claimed that patients were:

...less likely to be placed in the intensive care unit (ICU) or hooked up to a mechanical ventilator, and they were more likely to survive the infection compared to hospitalized patients who were not taking aspirin.

Over the course of their study, whose results were published in the medical journal Anesthesia and Analgesia, the authors analysed medical data taken from 412 patients who tested positive for the coronavirus which, as we all know, has been ravaging the whole world for months now.

76.3% of patients did not take aspirin and the remaining 23.7% received aspirin within 24 hours of being admitted to hospital or within the 7 days prior to being admitted.

An anti-inflammatory drug that would reduce the need for artificial ventilation

Dr. Jonathan Chow and his team noted that taking this non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (which does not contain cortisone) significantly reduced the need for respiratory assistance for patients who had been hospitalised. Aspirin is also believed to be the reason for a reduction in the number of patients who die in hospitals.

Furthermore, researchers have also specified that:

The patients in the aspirin group did not experience a significant increase in adverse events such as major bleeding while hospitalized.

Using aspirin to treat patients with COVID-19 could be an interesting possibility, but additional studies will need to be carried out in order to confirm its validity and find out more about the link between aspirin use and reduced lung damage and a fall in the number of deaths.

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