A new study has found that diabetes drug Metformin is effective in the treatment of Covid-19. The routinely prescribed diabetes medication has found to be effective in reducing the chances of hospitalization of Covid-19 patients, the study conducted by the University of Minnesota Medical School has said.
The finding of the study is significant as it shows that emergency department visits, hospitalizations and even death can be cut by a whopping 50 percent if Metformin is prescribed in the early stages of the Covid-19 infection.
"Our trial suggests that metformin may reduce the likelihood of needing to go to the emergency room or be hospitalised for Covid-19," Carolyn Bramante, Assistant Professor of internal medicine and paediatrics at the University of Minnesota Medical School, said, according to news agency IANS.
The study, in which the majority of the participants were vaccinated, was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine was one site in the trial.
"While the prospect of on-the-fly development of new vaccine technology to help prevent an emerging disease has been instrumental in managing this pandemic, it's also important to assess a variety of potential treatments and re-use agents if safe and shown to have benefit ... . In this study, we gained a lot of experience on how to study this relatively quickly, enroll patients remotely to prevent additional spread, better monitor viral load and ship medications out daily," said David Liebovitz, associate vice chair for clinical informatics in the department of medicine at Feinberg, who was a co-investigator.
The researchers do not know conclusively why metformin reduces the severity of Covid-19. However, they have found that metformin's ability to reduce high blood glucose levels has a clear role in the effective management of the disease. Issues related to high blood sugar are associated with worse Covid-19 outcomes. Also, metformin's its potential for decreasing the viral cycle of Covid-19 and its history of anti-infectious properties also play a significant role.
"Across our systems, we had a good number of COVID-19-positive patients who were already taking metformin for their type 2 diabetes ... It looked like there was a hint of a favorable signal with metformin use, and that those patients had fewer hospital stays and were less likely to die on metformin," added Liebovitz.