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Antipsychotics may change the form of treatment for Covid-19, study points out

Posted by LIZ DAVENPORT

A study published in March, in ScienceDirect , showed that antipsychotics can be effective against the infection caused by Covid-19. What’s more, they can also help the individual not to develop the severe form of the disease. In addition, other research observed that antipsychotics are capable of down-regulating genes whose expression is altered by the coronavirus.

In research released by ScienceDirect , researchers could see that people with severe psychiatric disorders had a lower risk of contracting the coronavirus. Furthermore, those who became infected had a positive prognosis and the evolution was benign, and therefore did not reach a potentially fatal clinical situation. Pointing to a protective effect of medications.

The study population consisted of 698 patients with severe psychiatric disorders under treatment with long-acting injectable antipsychotics. Furthermore, 557,576 individuals without the disorders participated in the study. Scientists evaluated the prevalence and prognosis of Covid-19 from February to November 2020.

Therefore, they obtained the following results:

Individuals without severe psychiatric disordersIndividuals with severe psychiatric disorders
4.1% of them were infected with SARS-COV-21.3% of them were infected with SARS-COV-2
8.5% needed hospital admissionNone needed a hospital stay
0.9% went to the ICUNone went to ICU
1.1% died as a result of viral infectionNo deaths were recorded.

It is possible to see that few people with psychiatric disorders have the disease, although they have some risk factors. 

Medicines used in psychopathologies can treat a serious condition of Covid-19

Another preliminary survey published Nov. 12, 2020 by the Jama Network brought some news about Covid-19 treatment. According to her, the clinical worsening of adult outpatients was prevented by early treatment with the antidepressant fluvoxamine. Another drug, the antipsychotic aripiprazole, also had significant potential for treating severe viral infection.

Antipsychotics reduce activation of inflammatory genes associated with severe Covid-19

Research released on March 2 by Frontiers in Pharmacology showed that antipsychotics down-regulate genes whose expression is altered by the infectious process caused by SARS-COV-2. This means to say that this category of drugs promotes the reduction of gene activation directly the most severe form of Covid-19. They are located in inflammatory and immunological pathways.  

Given the information evidenced by all three surveys, it is possible to conclude that more investigations need to be done. However, the possibility that antipsychotics have antiviral capacity – as observed in the works presented – may change the way the disease is treated.

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