(Reuters) – Aspirin does not improve the chances of survival in seriously ill patients with COVID-19, showed early results from one of the largest studies in the UK, examining commonly used painkillers and blood thinners.
The researchers behind the study, which looked at a number of potential treatments for COVID-19, evaluated the effects of aspirin on nearly 15,000 hospitalized patients infected with the new coronavirus.
Because the drug helps reduce blood clots in other diseases, it has been tested in patients with COVID-19 who are at higher risk of clotting problems.
“Although aspirin has been associated with a small increase in the likelihood of being discharged alive, this does not appear to be sufficient to justify its widespread use for patients hospitalized with COVID-1
In the study called RECOVERY, slightly less than half of the patients were randomized and given 150 mg of aspirin once a day, while the rest were given regular care on their own.
The study, conducted by Oxford University, also looked at the effectiveness of several other treatments, and the first showed that the widely available steroid dexamethasone could save the lives of people with severe COVID-19. (https://bit.ly/3x5kbRc)
The aspirin study did not show a significant change in the risk of patients switching to invasive mechanical ventilation. For every 1,000 patients treated with the drug, about six more patients had heavy bleeding and about six fewer had clotting, Oxford said.
Oxford said the results would be published on the online portal medRxiv and sent for publication in a peer-reviewed medical journal.
RECOVERY also showed anti-inflammatory treatment tocilizumab significantly reduced deaths, but found no benefit for patients with COVID-19 from drugs such as the antibiotic azithromycin and the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine.
(Report by Vishwadha Chander in Bengaluru; Edited by Shailesh Kuber)