A Japanese medicine can help prevent the loss of smell and taste from covid

When a team of researchers at the Yale School of Medicine began a study in the spring of 2020, they weren’t thinking about loss of smell and taste, which is a defining symptom of COVID-19.

Researchers led by infectious disease specialist Joseph Vinetz, MD, were interested in identifying whether the oral drug SARS-CoV-2 used to treat pancreatitis could reduce the viral load (amount of virus in your body) and improve symptoms in individuals. Newly captured COVID-19.

At the time of writing, the paper has not yet appeared in peer-reviewed journals but is available on a preprint site. Studies have shown that the name of the drug Chemostat mesilet Or Messilet (CM developed as a protease inhibitor in Japan in the 1980s), had little effect on viral load.

However, the researchers were surprised that it provided a unique kind of benefit.

“Patients who took the drug did not lose any sense of smell or taste. It was a ‘wow’ factor, “said Dr. Vinetz.

This is significant because anosmia, or COVID-19, is characterized by both odor loss and taste loss. As soon as the virus disappears, many senses are restored. For others, though, the effect lasts to varying degrees. (These symptoms may still occur with the Omicron version, but not as often as with previous versions.)

Dr. Vinetz said that after reading a research paper published in Cell in April 2020, he became interested in chemostat mesilet to show how the drug could prevent SARS-CoV-2 cells from becoming infected.

Within three days of enrolling in the second-stage randomized trial, 70 patients tested positive for Covid-19. For seven days, participants took the drug four times a day.

Although the trial was closed after it became clear that the initial goal of reducing viral load was not being met, the researchers believe that the unexpected results of loss of smell and taste warrant further investigation.

“My daughter got covid a year ago and she still has trouble smelling and tasting something,” added Dr. Desi. “This drug seems to be able to control the loss of smell and taste. It has very few side effects and has been extensively studied. It can be the kind of treatment that is given to someone with covid at the onset of infection. “

Physicians believe that if the drug is approved for this use, it will be a game-changer.

“It’s not going to be an expensive drug. We thought everyone would take it when diagnosed because it’s harder to predict who will lose their sense of smell or taste, and it’s better to prevent it than to wait for it to happen,” added Dr. Desi.

This drug had further advantages as studies have shown that those who took it had significantly improved fatigue compared to placebo recipients.

“Those who received chemostat mesilette in the trial began to feel less tired and overall better after the fourth day, which was statistically different from the placebo group,” said Dr. Vinetz 7 “And there was basically no adverse effect on the Chemostat mesilet group.”

It’s not clear if the chemostat mesilet can help someone who has lost their sense of taste or smell, he says.

“Further study will help us in this,” said Dr. Chup.

A Phase III clinical trial and an application to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval of emergency use will be required to be approved for use to avoid loss of taste or odor of chemostat mesilet. Dr. Chup stressed that all this will take time.

Nevertheless, doctors are hopeful that their unexpected discovery could help in the fight against COVID-19.

“A drug like Chemostat Mecilat gives a chance,” says Dr. Chup.

Source: 10.1101 / 2022.01.28.22270035

Image Credit: Getty

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