JACKSON TWP. – A local medical provider said it is participating in a nationwide research project examining the potential impact of three medications created for other ailments to reduce COVID-19 symptoms and hospitalizations.
Diabetes and Endocrinology Associates of Stark County at 4565 Dressler Road NW is the only site in Ohio taking part in the Activ-6 COVID-19 study, which is being funded by the National Institutes of Health and sponsored by Duke University in partnership with Vanderbilt University.
“We were chosen because we have done previous NIH studies,” said Lauren Turner, clinical research coordinator at Diabetes and Endocrinology Associates. “Since we have the resources and the staff to do a study, it was important even though this isn’t our specialty.
“The hope of this study is to see if they can find a medication that can be used at home to alleviate symptoms and to reduce the need for hospitalizations.”
The study is examining three drugs:
- Fluvoxamine: Often prescribed for depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
- Fluticasone: An inhaled steroid commonly prescribed for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, frequently sold over the counter as Flonase.
- Ivermectin: Used to treat parasitic infections.
There are currently no FDA-approved medications to treat people with COVID other than monoclonal treatments such as antibody infusion.
“The study chooses the arms (drugs),” Turner said. “There have been preliminary studies that show these medications may have a good possibility of efficacy.”
Brandi Kerr is the lead coordinator of the local study. Nina Kovolyan is the regulatory coordinator, and Dr. Arvind Y. Krishna is the clinic’s medical director.
“These are FDA-approved drugs that have been on the market for quite a while,” Kerr said. “Ivermectin has been approved for human use since the 1990s. Basically, they are re-purposed drugs that may be worthy of treating COVID-19.”
The study is seeking 15,000 participants regardless of vaccine status. Potential candidates must be:
- At least 30 years old.
- Have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 10 days.
- Have at least two COVID-19 symptoms for 7 days or less. Symptoms include fatigue, difficulty breathing, fever, cough, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, body aches, chills, headache, sore throat, nasal symptoms, and/or new loss of sense of taste or smell.
Turner said about 14 Stark County residents have enrolled so far, adding that the study is completely virtual. Daily surveys are taken for two weeks to ask participants about their symptoms, including a follow-up after 90 days.
“We’re hoping to get more as more people learn about the study,” Turner said. “Currently there are 535 enrolled nationally. The trial will be going on until December of 2022, but that’s subject to change, depending on what the results are showing.”
The medications are free. The study also offers participants financial compensation in the form of a $100 Amazon gift card. To learn more visit https://www.activ6study.org/en/ or call 888-385-1880.
Reach Charita at 330-580-8313 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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