This Addiction Drug Shows Some Potential Against Long COVID Symptoms


Researchers are working on cures for long COVID. With some success, naltrexone has been used to treat pain, fatigue, and brain fog months after a coronavirus infection.

  • Naltrexone is a medication primarily used to manage alcohol or opioid use disorder.
  • In an earlier report, companies including GSK plc GSKVir Biotechnology Inc VIR, and Humanigen Inc HGEN confirmed they had spoken to researchers on trials using their current treatments against long COVID
  • According to a Reuters review, there are now at least four clinical trials planned to test naltrexone in long COVID patients.
  • It is also on the list of treatments to be tested in the U.S. National Institutes of Health's $1 billion RECOVER Initiative, which aims to uncover underlying causes and find treatments for long COVID, advisers to the trial told Reuters.
  • In September, an author of a scientific review of the drug submitted a grant application to study low-dose naltrexone (LDN) for long COVID. "It should be at the top of everyone's list for clinical trials," he said.
  • Still, the drug is unlikely to help all patients with long COVID, a collection of some 200 symptoms ranging from pain and heart palpitations to insomnia and cognitive impairment. 
  • Scientists are still working on explaining the mechanism for how LDN might work.
  • Other therapies under consideration for the RECOVER initiative include Pfizer Inc's PFE Paxlovid, anti-clotting agents, steroids, and nutritional supplements.
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