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Duke study repurposes FDA-approved drugs to treat mild cases of COVID-19

The Duke Clinical Research Institute is launching a clinical trial to study medications that could be used to treat mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 at home.
Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 4:05 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The COVID-19 vaccine is meant to prevent severe cases of COVID-19, but researchers are still trying to find quality treatments for mild to moderate breakthrough cases or cases of the virus in people who are unvaccinated.

The Duke Clinical Research Institute is launching a clinical trial to study medications that could be used to treat mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 at home. The study is called Activ-6. It focuses on three medications that are FDA-approved for other uses.

Dr. Adrian Hernandez, M.D. is the executive director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute.

“The goal for this program is to try to identify people early on in COVID-19 and treat them at home where it’s more convenient and hopefully prevent them from going to the emergency room or hospital,” Dr. Hernandez said.

There are a handful of treatments available to patients suffering from severe cases of COVID-19, but this study aims to find treatment for mild cases. Dr. Hernandez says this is important because it is difficult to identify whose mild case will worsen. Sometimes, it is too late for medications to work when cases become severe.

“What we need to do is be able to tackle this issue very early before they have worsening symptoms or before they go into an emergency room or a hospital,” Dr. Hernandez said.

Anyone in the U.S. over the age of 30 may enroll in the Activ-6 study. To enroll or get more information click here.

Dr. Hernandez says participants will be mailed a medication. The medication could be a placebo, Ivermectin, Fluticasone, or Fluvoxamine. Ivermectin is typically used to treat parasitic infections. Fluticasone is an inhaled steroid commonly prescribed for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Fluvoxamine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor used to treat depression.

Dr. Hernandez says small studies on each of these drugs showed potential benefits of preventing hospitalizations from COVID-19. He added that it is important to use these medications as they are prescribed or directed under this study. The drugs have not yet been approved by the FDA as a treatment for COVID-19.

While treatments for the virus are still being researched, there are supplements on the market that could boost your immune system as the COVID-19 virus continues to spread.

Josh Rimany is the Founder and Chief Wellness Officer at Dilworth Drug and Wellness Center. He says there are several supplements that have been used to strengthen a person’s immune system against viral infection.

Rimany provides his customers with COVID-19 supplement kits. The kits contain varying doses of supplements like Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Wholemune, Zinc, Quercetin, and Glutathione.

“It creates the nutrition or the nutrients needed to feed the immune system to be ready, to be active, and to be responsive quickly,” Rimany said. “At certain dosages, clinically it’s been shown to have antiviral properties.”

Rimany’s supplement kits contain different dosages depending on whether a person is preparing their immune system to respond to a COVID-19 exposure or if a person has already tested positive for the virus.

Because most supplements are not FDA approved, Rimany recommends speaking with a professional before taking over the counter supplements.

“When you go over the counter, make sure somebody’s vetted it for you,” Rimany said. “Because quality matters and efficacy matters. Rely on someone to guide you. You don’t need to DIY this.”

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