Heart Drugs are Expected to Prevent Covid-19 Complications and Help Patients
Researchers are testing whether the prescribed heart drugs have a protective effect on preventing or reducing Covid-19 complications and helping hospitalized patients recover sooner, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Many studies have found that nearly 20% of Covid-19 patients developed cardiovascular complications, including inflammation of the heart, heart rhythm disorders, and blood clots.
Although no drug or vaccine has been approved to use so far, researchers hope the drugs, including blood-pressure drugs, blood thinners, statins, antiplatelets, and a drug to lower triglycerides, can help treat patients infected with the coronavirus.
Two blood pressure medicines, angiotensin-converting enzyme, or ACE inhibitors, and angiotensin-receptor blockers, or ARBS, have been reported that would not raise the rates of infection or death of Covid-19 patients with hypertension, while other previous studies held the opposite position.
Losartan, a common treatment for high blood pressure, is being measured in several trials. The associate professor in the department of emergency medicine at the University of Minnesota, Michael Puskarich said that losartan may help prevent lung injury in Covid-19 patients by blocking the angiotensin receptor.
Telmisartan, another angiotensin-receptor blocker, is being tested by the University of Hawaii. The university’s professor of medicine, Cecilia Shikuma said that the drug may counteract imbalances in the angiotensin-renin system and have some antiviral effects against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Researchers are also measuring whether Vascepa, a fish oil-derived drug of Amarin Corp., can prevent or reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems in Covid-19 patients with heart damage.
At the University of Toronto, Amarin conducted a pilot study testing whether Vascepa can treat hospitalized Covid-19 patients. The investigator, Deepak Bhatt, said “it quiets down inflammation”.
Some studies have indicated that statins, the cholesterol-lowering drugs, may protect individuals against Covid-19 complications, though it has yet to be directly tested.
Antiplatelet drugs, which prevent the formation of blood clots, and blood thinners, which are now used to prevent blood clots in Covid-19 patients, are also measured by researchers.