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Coronavirus is continuing to spread in the UK, and England has now been placed in a four-week nationwide lockdown, in a bid to slow down the infection rate. Scientists have a new hope for a possible treatment – and you probably already have it on your medicine cabinet.
The scientists leading the so-called RECOVERY trial (The Randomised Evaluation of COVid-19 thERapY) are investigating how aspirin could be used to treat coronavirus patients.
Aspirin is commonly used to reduce the risk of blood clots that may be linked to heart attacks, stroke, or pre-eclampsia.
COVID-19 patients are at higher risk of developing blood clots than the general public, the scientists explained.
Therefore, there is a “clear rationale” for treating patients with aspirin.
Scientists with give 150mg of aspirin daily to 2,000 coronavirus patients.
Their risk of blood clots will then be compared to another 2,000 patients that are only receiving the current available treatments.
The RECOVERY trial research is one of the largest clinical trial units for COVID-19, which is supported by the University of Oxford and The Wellcome Trust, and involves thousands of doctors, nurses and pharmacists.
But the results from the aspirin research will take almost a month before analysis starts.
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“We felt it was particularly important to add aspirin to the trial since there is a clear rationale for believing that it might be beneficial and it is safe, inexpensive and widely available,” said co-Chief Investigator of the RECOVERY trial, Professor Peter Horby.
“We are looking for medicines for COVID-19 that can be used immediately by anyone, anywhere in the world. We do not know if aspirin is such a medicine but we will find out.”
The other co-Chief of the RECOVERY trial, Professor Martin Landray, added: “Aspirin is widely used to prevent blood clots in many other conditions, including heart attack, stroke, and pre-eclampsia in pregnant women.
“Enrolling patients in a randomised trial such as RECOVERY is the only way to assess whether there are clear benefits for patients with COVID-19 and whether those benefits outweigh any potential side effects such as the risk of bleeding.”
Aspirin is a commonly used painkiller that’s used for headaches, toothaches, and period pains.
It’s usually combined with other ingredients that form part of cold or flu over-the-counter medication.
Most people over 16 years old can safely take aspirin, but it’s not necessarily suitable for everyone.
If you know that you have a sensitivity to aspirin, you should avoid taking it.
Meanwhile, there’s still no vaccine to treat or prevent coronavirus infection.
But, there are a number of treatments that may help to reduce the symptoms and risk of death from COVID-19.
The RECOVERY trial has also revealed that ‘dexamethasone’ could lower the risk of mortality from coronavirus.
If you develop a new cough, a high fever, or a loss of sense of smell or taste, you should get tested for COVID-19 straight away.
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