Metformin can reduce the risk of developing long-COVID by 40% a new study has found.
The study was conducted in the US which included adults aged 30-35 years who were overweight or obese and had a positive SARS-CoV-2 test in the three days leading up to the trial.
Participants were randomly allocated to receive placebo or metformin which was titrated over six days from 500mg to 1000mg.
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The results showed that 6.3% of people who took metformin, a drug commonly prescribed for type 2 diabetes, reported a long-COVID diagnosis within 10 months.
Compared to the 10.4% of participants who were given the placebo.
This study is the first to suggest that giving drugs during the acute phase of COVID-19 may be able to reduce the risk of long-COVID.
Lead study author Carolyn Bramante from the University of Minnesota Medical School said: ‘Long covid is a significant public health emergency that may have lasting physical health, mental health, and economic impacts, especially in socioeconomically marginalised groups.
‘There is an urgent need to find potential treatments and ways to prevent this disease. Our study showed that metformin, a drug that is safe, low cost, and widely available, substantially reduces the risk of being diagnosed with long covid if taken when first infected with the coronavirus.’
The authors stressed that the study does not indicate whether Metformin would be effective for people already suffering with long-COVID.
This trial supports previous studies that metformin can stop the virus from reproducing in lab conditions, reducing the chances of overweight or obese people from being hospitalised with COVID-19.