Common OTC Heartburn Drug May Help Coronavirus Patients

By Bill Galluccio

June 5, 2020

Heartburn Drug Being Tested for Treatment of COVID-19

A small study published in the medical journal Gut has some potentially good news as scientists continue to search for a coronavirus treatment. The study only looked at ten patients, but the results were promising as they all started showing drastic improvements within 24 to 48 hours after taking famotidine, the active ingredient in Pepcid, an over-the-counter heartburn medication.

Nine of the ten patients began taking the drug within one day of showing symptoms, while the tenth patient waited 26 days before using famotidine. None of the patients were sick enough to require hospitalization, and all recovered within two weeks of taking the OTC medication.

Seven of the patients suffered no side effects, while three suffered dizziness and gastrointestinal issues.

The study authors said they were encouraged by the findings and hope to begin a larger double-blind clinical trial. 

"We want to know, what's the best way to address these patients, and keep them out of the hospital and get them feeling better sooner," said Dr. Joseph Conigliaro, a physician at Northwell Health in New York and co-author on the paper.

Another team of researchers has already started a clinical trial using famotidine, but their research has been slowed down as the number of new coronavirus cases continues to fall.

Photo: Getty Images

Chat About Common OTC Heartburn Drug May Help Coronavirus Patients

Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeartRadio App.


© 2020 iHeartMedia, Inc.