COVID-19: IIT Madras trial shows Indomethacin Drug efficacy in hospitalized patient treatment

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Manager Editorial
Updated on Apr 22, 2022 14:40 IST

This research work promises a new line of treatment for mild COVID-19 infection as Indomethacin is an affordable drug

IIT Madras

Designed trials conducted by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras have shown efficacy of Indomethacin Drug in treating hospitalised mild and moderate COVID-19 patients. The Indian researchers are the first to show the efficacy of indomethacin through a randomised clinical trial though the scientific basis has been researched by Italian and US scientists.

A recent peer-reviewed journal paper published in Nature Scientific Reports has shown the excellent efficacy of Indomethacin, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, as an antiviral agent in the treatment of mild and moderate COVID-19 patients.

The study conducted at Panimalar Medical College and Research Institute was led by Dr Rajan Ravichandran, an Adjunct Faculty at IIT Madras and Director Nephrology at MIOT hospitals. The study was conceptualised and coordinated by Prof. R. Krishna Kumar, Institute professor, IIT Madras.

Indomethacin, with more than 20 lakh prescriptions per year in the US alone is an established drug widely used since the 1960s to treat various types of inflammation-related.

The entire study was funded by Mr. Kris Gopalakrishnan an alumnus of IIT Madras and Chairman Axilor Ventures.

Dr. Rajan Ravichandran an Adjunct Faculty at IIT Madras and Director Nephrology at MIOT hospitals, said, “Knowing that one of the deadly effects of the COVID infection is inflammation and the cytokine storm, we decided to study the non‐steroidal anti‐inflammatory drug, Indomethacin. The scientific evidence strongly shows the anti-viral action against Coronavirus. Indomethacin is a safe and well-understood drug. I have been using it in my profession for the past thirty years.”

Ravichandran added, “Indomethacin works with all variants. We had done two trials, one in the first wave and the other in the second wave. The results were the same. I sincerely hope ICMR takes note of this study and includes indomethacin in COVID treatment protocol.”

Highlighting the Research findings, Prof. R. Krishna Kumar, Institute professor, IIT Madras, said, “Out of a total of 210 admitted patients 107 were randomly allocated to a control group, treated with paracetamol and standard care of treatment. 103 patients were administered indomethacin along with standard care of treatment. The patients were monitored every day for symptoms such as cough, cold, fever and muscle pain along with oxygen saturation.”

None of the 103 patients who received indomethacin developed oxygen desaturation. On the other hand, 20 of the 109 patients from the control group were desaturated with oxygen saturation levels below 93%. Indomethacin group patients recovered from all symptoms in three to four days. It took double the time for the control group. Liver and kidney function tests showed no adverse reaction.

The fourteenth‐day follow‐up showed that nearly half of the control group patients had several discomforts while a few indomethacin patients complained only of tiredness”.

Commenting on this work, Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, said, “I congratulate Dr. Rajan Ravichandran, Prof. R. Krishna Kumar and team for the successful publication of the Indomethacin trial. I hope the findings will be useful in the event of any further waves of COVID-19.”

The work was chosen for peer reviewed by Rapid Reviews; COVID-19, run by a team from Univ. California Berkeley and MIT Press. The review stated, “Reviewers deemed the results compelling and reliable”.

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About the Author
Manager Editorial

Abhay an alumnus of IIMC and Delhi University, has over a decade long experience of reporting on various beats of journalism. During his free time he prefers listening to music or play indoor and outdoor games.


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