This Addiction Drug Shows Some Potential Against Long COVID Symptoms

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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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