MONTREAL : Canadian study says oral medicine effective in treating Covid-19.

A major clinical trial shows that an inflammatory drug called ''colchicine'' is effective in treating Covid-19 and reduces the risk of complications from the disease, doctors in Canada said.

The results of  the study are a ''major scientific discovery'' and make colchicine - a medicine to treat gout - ''the world's first oral drug that could be used to treat non-hospitalized patients with Covid-19'' the Montreal Heart Institute said in a statement.

The study was carried out in Canada, the US, Europe and South America among a population of 4,488 patients.

In 4,159 of these patients, in whom the diagnosis of  Covid-19 was proven by a nasopharyngeal PCR  test, use of colchicine reduced hospitalization by 25 percent, the need for mechanical ventilation by 50%, and deaths by 44 percent, the study concluded.

Colchicine is effective in preventing dangerous inflammatory syndromes called ''cytokine storms'' and reducing complications associated with Covid-19 said Dr. Jean Claude Tardif, director of the MHI Research Center and principal investigator in the study.

''We are pleased to offer the first oral medication in the world whose use could have a significant impact on public health and potentially prevent Covid-19 complications for millions of patients,'' Tardif said. [AFP]


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