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Clinical trial enrolments begin for long Covid treatment

The study is being carried out in 10 hospitals in India, including at Kasturba Medical College in Manipal
uraksha P
Last Updated : 21 May 2022, 04:32 IST
Last Updated : 21 May 2022, 04:32 IST
Last Updated : 21 May 2022, 04:32 IST
Last Updated : 21 May 2022, 04:32 IST

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The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is supporting the George Institute for Global Health to identify whether a drug called Colchicine used to treat gout can prevent or reduce the burden of Long Covid.

The study is being carried out in 10 hospitals in India, including at Kasturba Medical College in Manipal.

The George Institute for Global Health is headquartered in Australia with offices in China, India and the UK.

Once can participate in this study if one is unable to live alone without assistance from another person or if they suffer from Long Covid symptoms, pain, depression or anxiety, or if one has elevated inflammatory markers in blood indicated by high C-Reactive Protein (CRP) or White Blood Cells (WBC).

Long Covid is characterised by people experiencing various symptoms that can persist for several months after suffering from Covid-19. Long Covid can affect many organs including the lungs, heart, brain, liver, kidney or gastrointestinal tract.

Anybody who has had an infection with the virus is susceptible to Long Covid without having had a serious bout of Covid-19 illness. Researchers are currently trying to find medicines that can prevent or treat Long Covid.

Colchicine is a medication used to treat gout and Behçet's disease. In gout, it is less preferred to NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) or steroids. Other uses for colchicine include the management of pericarditis and familial Mediterranean fever. Colchicine is taken by mouth.

Gout is caused by too much uric acid in the blood. When uric acid levels in the blood are too high, the uric acid may form hard crystals in your joints.

Shani S Thankachen from the George Institute for Global Health told DH: "We have just started enrolling volunteers. KMC Manipal has just been activated as a trial site. They will start the process of screening soon."

Responding to DH's queries over email Dr Cynthia Amrutha, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Kasturba Medical College , Manipal, said, "We plan to approach patients visiting the out-patient departments (OPDs) of the departments of General Medicine and Pulmonary Medicine for recruitment to this clinical trial."

"Studies have found that Colchicine, due to its anti-inflammatory properties can ameliorate the long-term effects of Covid-19 illness. This clinical trial attempts to assess the use of Colchicine in treating patients with Long Covid syndrome. Following recruitment (after screening), one half of the participants will be given the Colchicine drug and the other half will be given placebo (medicine that has no therapeutic effect) randomly," she said.

"Both the Colchicine drug and the placebo will be given orally to the recruited participants (by mouth)," she added.

If you are willing to participate in this study or want more information, write to sthankachen@georgeinstitute.org.in.

What is Long Covid?

Long Covid is suspected if you have one or more of the symptoms:

-- Weakness, tiredness, fatigue
-- Headache
-- Memory disturbances
-- Disturbance in sleep
-- Persistent cough
-- Shortness of breath
-- Depression/anxiety
-- Chest pain
-- Pounding heartbeat
-- Muscle or joint pain
-- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
-- Changes in ability to taste or smell
-- Intermittent fever
-- Nausea or diarrhoea

Where are the activated clinical trial sites?

1) Jivanrekha Hospital, Pune
2) Sterling Hospital, Pune
3) CORE Hospital, Pune
4) Dr Hedgewar Hospital, Aurangabad
5) Samishta Hospital, Guntur
6) Maharaja Hospital, Jaipur
7) Shree Krishna Hospital, Anand
8) Kasturba Medical College, Manipal
9) Amrita Institute, Kochi
10) DM Wayanad Institute, Wayanad

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Published 11 May 2022, 05:32 IST

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