Updated: June 3, 2020 4:39:33 pm
A team of researchers from London’s Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital and King’s College are running a trial to see whether painkiller and anti-inflammatory medication Ibuprofen can be used to treat COVID-19 patients, BBC reported. As the world struggles to contain the impact of the global pandemic, scientists hope that the low-cost treatment will reduce the burden on hospitals by keeping patients off ventilators.
The trial, called Liberate, was launched after studies conducted on animals suggested that the medication could treat acute respiratory distress syndrome — one of the complications associated with COVID-19.
Half of the 230 patients participating in the trial were given a special formulation of Ibuprofen — distinct from the over-the-counter drug available at most pharmacies, according to the BBC report. The other half will receive standard care, which includes continuously being given oxygen.
Professor Mitul Mehta, a member of the research team, stressed that the trial was for hospitalised patients and not for mild cases. Participants were drawn from among those hospitalised, but not requiring intensive care, according to the BBC.
At the onset of the pandemic in the United Kingdom, health experts had raised concerns over whether the anti-inflammatory should be used by people showing mild symptoms. Following this, the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) in March withdrew the advisory they had issued on their website for the use of ibuprofen by people suffering from mild cases of COVID-19.
With over 279,392 Covid-19 cases and 39,452 registered deaths, the UK is one of the worst-hit countries in the world. Lockdown restrictions, imposed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in March, are now gradually being relaxed.
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