Many coronavirus or COVID-19 patients in the UK are going to be given aspirin as part of a trial for determining whether the painkiller can help reduce the risk of dangerous blood clots. The cheap and also globally available drug was added to a list of the probable treatments as apart of the Randomised Evaluation of COVID-19 therapy (Recovery) trial, which is one of the biggest in the UK.
People who are infected with the deadly virus seem to have hyper-reactive platelets, the cell fragments that help in stopping the bleeding, which means that they have a higher risk of having probably deadly blood clots, as per scientists.
Experts hope that the medicine, which is commonly used as a blood thinner can help in reducing the possibility of clotting complications. "Aspirin is widely used to prevent blood clots in many other conditions, including heart attack, stroke, and pre-eclampsia in pregnant women," Prof Martin Landray, the co-chief investigator of the trial stated as reported by The Guardian.
Aspirin and COVID-19
"But enrolling patients in a randomized trial such as Recovery is the only way to assess whether there are clear benefits for patients with Covid-19 and whether those benefits outweigh any potential side-effects such as the risk of bleeding," he added.
Around 2,000 patients are expected to be given 150mg of aspirin daily along with the usual regimen. The data from the patients are going to be compared with around 2,000 other patients who get standard coronavirus treatment on its own. The small daily doses of aspirin were discovered to reduce the risk of certain types of cancers. As a blood thinner, it increases the chances of internal bleeding, and taking a lot over a long period can damage the kidney.
Other treatments that are getting tested in the Recovery trial include the antibody-rich plasma taken from the recovered patients and the antibody cocktail of Regeneron. The plan to add aspirin to the list was taken by the Oxford University researchers leading the trial and also the chief medical officer of England, Prof Chris Whitty after getting recommendations from the UK COVID-19 Therapeutics Advisory Panel.
The Recovery trial was the first to show that dexamethasone, which is a steroid and is cheaply available worldwide can save the lives of people who have severe coronavirus and also showed that hydroxychloroquine was of no benefit in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.