Aspirin will be tested in UK trials as a possible treatment for coronavirus, the RECOVERY trial at the University of Oxford announced on Friday.
“Starting today, aspirin will be investigated in the world’s largest clinical trial of treatments for hospitalized patients with COVID-19. The COViD-19 (RECOVERY) Therapy Randomized Evaluation Trial is being carried out in 176 hospitals across the UK and has so far recruited over 16,000 patients, ”a RECOVERY statement reads.
The common anti-inflammatory drug will be tested for use in patients with complications of blood clotting.
“COVID-19 patients are at increased risk of blood clots forming in their blood vessels. Platelets, small cell fragments in the blood that stop bleeding, appear to be hyper-reactive in COVID-19 and may be involved in clotting complications, “the statement said. “Since aspirin is an antiplatelet agent, it can reduce the risk of blood clots in COVID-19 patients.”
Peter Horby, co-lead investigator on the trial, said the drug may be beneficial because it is safe, accessible and inexpensive.
“We are looking for COVID-19 drugs that can be used immediately by anyone, anywhere in the world. We don’t know if aspirin is such a drug, but we’ll find out, ”he said.
Aspirin is widely used as a blood thinner for conditions such as heart attacks, strokes and pre-eclampsia in pregnant women, said Martin Landray, who is co-leading the trial.
“Enrolling patients in a randomized trial like RECOVERY is the only way to assess whether there are clear benefits for COVID-19 patients and whether those benefits outweigh any potential side effects such as the risk of bleeding,” he said.