The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is funding a study to determine whether a drug named colchicine can be used to treat long-Covid symptoms.
Colchicine is normally used to treat gout, as also inflammation and pain.
While ICMR is funding the study, George Institute for Global Health will carry out the clinical trials and handover the data to ICMR.
Long-Covid symptoms typically include weakness, fatigue, headache, memory disturbances, sleep disturbance, persistent coughing, shortness of breadth, depression or anxiety, chest pain, pounding heartbeat, nausea, diarrhoea, intermittent fever, changes in ability to taste or smell, dizziness or feeling light-headed, and muscle or joint pain.
A pamphlet shared by George Institute of Global Health seeks volunteers — those experiencing prolonged symptoms post Covid — for the clinical trials to determine the effectiveness of colchicine in preventing or reducing the symptoms.
The trial is on at 10 hospitals — four in Maharashtra (three at Pune and one in Aurangabad), two in Kerala (Kochi and Wayanad) and one each in Karnataka (Manipal), Gujarat (Anand), Andhra Pradesh (Guntur), and Rajasthan (Jaipur).
George Institute of Global Health is based in Australia, and has offices in India, China and the UK.
“This study is done by George Institute for Global Health and funded by ICMR,” a senior official of ICMR told BusinessLine.
Work is on globally to determine which medicines can be used to treat long-Covid.
Selection of volunteers
For the trial, 350 volunteers aged over 18 and previously diagnosed with lab-confirmed Covid will be selected through eligibility tests.
The findings of the 52-week trial would be submitted to ICMR, according to information from George Institute for Global Health.
After blood tests and spirometry tests, the participants will be administered colchicine in select doses and over a period of time.
Volunteers will have to undergo periodic checks in the 12th week, 22nd week, and so on. The Hindu BusinessLine