The readily available antidepressant fluvoxamine significantly reduced COVID-related hospitalizations, according to a large study published Wednesday.
Why it matters: The clinical trial suggests that a cheap, readily available drug could dramatically reduce serious illness and death when prescribed early.
Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.
Researchers from Canada, the U.S. and Brazil honed in on the drug for its anti-inflammatory properties for the study, published in the journal Lancet Global Health.
For the record: Fluvoxamine was approved by the FDA in the 1990s to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder.
The big picture: Participants with an early COVID-19 diagnosis were given 100 milligrams of the drug twice daily for 10 days. Those in the control group were given a placebo.
The clinical trial looked at nearly 1,500 people in Brazil. Among the participants who were given fluvoxamine, the rate of hospitalization decreased by a third, according to the study.
Among the participants who followed through with the fluvoxamine protocol, one patient in the fluvoxamine died, compared to 12 in the control group.
What they're saying: University of Minnesota infectious disease scientist David Boulware, who conducted his own study of the drug in coronavirus patients, told the New York Times: "It's not a shiny new, expensive drug. The nice thing about this is it has a known safety profile."
More from Axios: Sign up to get the latest market trends with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free