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Covid-19: Metformin reduces the risk of developing long term symptoms by 40%, study finds

Metformin—a cheap, safe, and widely available diabetes drug—could reduce the incidence of long covid if given during the acute phase of Covid-19, a new study indicates.

A two week course of metformin given within three days of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 led to 40% fewer Long Covid diagnoses over the following 10 months compared with people who had taken placebo, according to a randomised controlled trial.

The authors of the study, published in Lancet Infectious Diseases, caution that the trial did not look at whether metformin would be effective as a treatment for those who already have Long Covid.

Jeremy Faust from Harvard Medical School, who was not involved in the research, said the findings, if confirmed, are “profound and potentially landmark.” Writing in a linked comment, he said, “This is the first high quality evidence from a randomised controlled trial to show that the incidence of long covid can be reduced by a medical intervention, metformin—an inexpensive treatment with which clinicians have ample experience".

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Source: BMJ, 8 June 2023


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