Gout drug Febuxostat useful for treatment of COVID-19
Iran: Febuxostat (FBX) can be used as an alternative treatment to hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) for COVID-19 patients, suggests a recent study in the International Journal of Clinical Practice. FBX thus can be considered in patients with precaution or contraindication to HCQ.
Febuxostat (FBX) is a novel non-purine xanthine oxidase (XO) approved for the treatment of hyperuricemia in patients with gout. It is already shown to have the anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-apoptosis effects of FBX.
Lotfollah Davoodi, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran, and colleagues conducted this clinical trial to evaluate the effects of FBX versus HCQ on clinical symptoms, chest CT findings, and laboratory tests in outpatients having moderate symptoms of COVID-19 infection.
The clinical trial involved adult outpatients with moderate respiratory illness following COVID‐19 infection. They were randomly assigned to receive either FBX or HCQ for 5 days. Needs to hospitalization, clinical and laboratory data including fever, cough, breathing rate, C‐Reactive Protein level, lymphocytes count at the onset of admission, and was well as at 5 days of treatments were measured. In addition, CT findings were evaluated on admission and 14 days after initiation of treatment.
Sixty subjects were enrolled in the study with a 1 to 1 ratio in FBX and HCQ groups.
Key findings of the study include:
- On admission, fever (66.7%), cough (87%), tachypnea (44.4%), dyspnea (35%), elevated CRP value (94.4%) and lung involvement according to chest CT (100%) were documented in enrolled patients with insignificant difference between FBX and HCQ groups.
- Fever, cough and tachypnea were significantly mitigated in both groups after five days of treatments without any significant differences between groups.
- The mean percentages of lung involvement were significantly reduced to 7.3% and 8% after 14 days of treatment with FBX and HCQ, respectively.
- In adult outpatients with moderate COVID‐19 infection, the effectiveness of FBX and HCQ was not different in terms of resolution of clinical manifestations, laboratory tests, and lung CT findings.
"This trial suggests that FBX is as an alternative treatment to HCQ for COVID‐19 infection and may be considered in patients with a contraindication or precaution to HCQ," concluded the authors.
The study, "Febuxostat therapy in outpatients with suspected COVID‐19: A clinical trial," is published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice.