Efficacy of Oral Famotidine in Patients Hospitalized With Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2
Introduction The clinical benefit of famotidine has been observed in the management of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). However, its use in the management of SARS-CoV-2 is intriguing and not well established yet. In this study, we aimed to determine the role of famotidine as adjuvant therapy in improving the outcome of patients hospitalized with coronavirus disease-2019 .
Methods This two-arm open-label randomized interventional study was conducted in the COVID-19 unit of a tertiary care hospital in Pakistan from December 2020 to September 2021. Patients between the ages of 18 to 65 years, hospitalized with COVID-19 infection, were enrolled in the study. Participants were randomized into two groups. The intervention group received 40 mg oral famotidine daily in addition to the standard care and the control group received standard care as per national guidelines for the treatment of COVID-19 in Pakistan.
Results Patients admitted with COVID-19 who received famotidine took comparatively fewer days to become symptom-free (8.5 ± 1.7 vs. 9.4 ± 1.9 days, p-value: <0.001) and spent fewer days in hospital (8.6 ± 1.6 vs. 10.3 ± 2.2 days; p-value: <0.0001). However, the overall difference in the need for mechanical ventilation and mortality between the interventional arm and placebo was not significant.
Conclusion In this study, adding famotidine to standard treatment of COVID-19 was associated with faster clinical recovery and shorter stay in the hospital. However, there was no difference in the need for mechanical ventilation, need for intensive care unit, and overall mortality. Further large-scale studies are needed to understand the role of famotidine in COVID-19 and its mechanism of action in patients with COVID-19.
Conclusions In this study, adding famotidine to standard treatment of COVID-19 was associated with faster clinical recovery and shorter hospital stay. However, there was no difference in the need for mechanical ventilation, the need for ICU, and overall mortality. Further large-scale studies are needed to understand the role of famotidine in COVID-19 and its possible mechanism of action in patients with COVID-19.
Additional Information Disclosures Human subjects: Consent was obtained or waived by all participants in this study. Jinnah Sindh Medical University Ethics Committee issued approval JSMU/IRB/2020/12. Animal subjects: All authors have confirmed that this study did not involve animal subjects or tissue. Conflicts of interest: In compliance with the ICMJE uniform disclosure form, all authors declare the following: Payment/services info: All authors have declared that no financial support was received from any organization for the submitted work. Financial relationships: All authors have declared that they have no financial relationships at present or within the previous three years with any organizations that might have an interest in the submitted work. Other relationships: All authors have declared that there are no other relationships or activities that could appear to have influenced the submitted work.
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