A study conducted by the University of Minnesota, published on Friday June 9 by the medical journal The Lancet, claims that Metformin, a drug prescribed for diabetics, would be effective in reducing the risk of contracting long Covid.
This study, carried out on 1,126 overweight or obese people, shows that after 10 months, 35 of the participants who had taken received a diagnosis of long Covid, compared to 58 for the placebo group, which represents a reduction of 40% of the risk.
The trial was conducted between December 2020 and January 2022. It is based on a randomized, placebo-controlled phase 3 study that tested Metformin, an accessible and low-cost pharmaceutical product. It was developed in its early stages (in the Middle Ages) from the French lilac flower. Currently, this drug is the most commonly used treatment in the world for type 2 diabetes.
The drug does not treat long Covid, but it prevents it
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 10% to 20% of people who have developed Covid-19 have medium and long-term effects. Some people experience long-term symptoms, even after recovery. In France, according to a survey by Santé Publique France, some 2 million people have a long Covid.
Carolyn Bramante, a researcher at the University of Minnesota and lead author of the new study, told AFP: “Our data shows that metformin reduces the amount of SARS-CoV-2 virus” in patients, “The result of this study is very important, because the long Covid can have an impact on people’s lives.s”.
Metformin has not been tested on people with long Covid, so it cannot be used to treat this disease, only to prevent it.
The researchers also point out that the antiparasitic drug ivermectin (the use of which has been the subject of debate throughout the pandemic), as well as the antidepressant fluvoxamine, did not prevent contracting long Covid.