A popular heartburn medicine doesn’t work as a COVID-19 antiviral

Monday, July 27, 2020 - 05:01 in Health & Medicine

An over-the-counter heartburn remedy probably won’t directly stop coronavirus infections, a new study suggests. Anecdotal reports from China suggested people hospitalized with COVID-19 who were taking famotidine (sold under the brand name Pepcid) had better outcomes than people who took a different type of antacid called a proton pump inhibitor. But famotidine has no direct antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, according to preliminary results reported July 15 at bioRxiv.org. Those findings, which have not been reviewed by other scientists yet, suggest famotidine won’t help prevent coronavirus infections or illness. But they don’t rule out that the drug might help in other ways, says Mohsan Saeed, a virologist at Boston University School of Medicine. “We’re not challenging that famotidine might help,” he says. “We’re saying that the mechanism of action is not antiviral.” The result isn’t a complete surprise. “A compound of this nature having any role in infectious disease...

Read the whole article on Sciencenews.org

More from Sciencenews.org

Latest Science Newsletter

Get the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!

Check out our next project, Biology.Net