A common painkiller is being tested as a potential treatment for hospitalized coronavirus patients to see if it reduces the risk of blood clots, according to researchers. Aspirin, a known blood thinner, will be given to patients enrolled in the RECOVERY trial in the U.K., according to a news release.
The researchers plan to give aspirin to about 2,000 patients in the trial in addition to standard-of-care treatment. The results will be compared with 2,000 patients who only receive standard-of-care treatment and assess for mortality after 28 days, as well as the impact on hospital stay and need for ventilation.
Aspirin is also used as a pain reliever and to reduce fever or inflammation.
“We felt it was particularly important to add aspirin to the trial since there is a clear rationale for believing that it might be beneficial and it is safe, inexpensive and widely available,” Peter Horby, professor at the Nuffield Department of Medicine and co-chief investigator of the RECOVERY trial, said in the news release. “We are looking for medicines for COVID-19 that can be used immediately by anyone, anywhere in the world. We do not know if aspirin is such a medicine but we will find out.”
Aspirin, when used daily, has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack, clot-related strokes and other blood flow issues in patients who have cardiovascular disease or who have already had a heart attack or stroke, according to the FDA. It’s also used as a pain reliever and to reduce fever or inflammation.
Other treatments being evaluated in the RECOVERY trial include azithromycin, tocilizumab, convalescent plasma and REGN-COV2, the investigational anti-viral antibody cocktail developed by Regeneron.
The researchers expect to have results after a few months.