Ontario Is Looking At Using An Antidepressant As A Treatment For Mild COVID-19
Fluvoxamine will possibly be considered for mild patients within a week of symptoms.
Antidepressants are commonly used to treat depression, but they may serve another purpose in Ontario for mild COVID-19 patients.
Fluvoxamine was listed as a possible treatment for mild COVID-19 in adult patients in treatment guidelines from Ontario's Science Advisory Table on December 20.
The recommendations listed under "Therapeutic Management of Adult Patients with COVID-19," suggest that individuals over 18 years old who are mildly ill may be able to use fluvoxamine in a 15-day stint within a week of symptoms appearing.
Ontario's Science Advisory Table says the recommendation for this treatment was pushed forward due to "very low certainty evidence of reduction in hospitalization" and "the need for outpatient treatment options with a reasonable safety profile" since the Omicron variant is expected to make the number of cases skyrocket.
If the drug is used, Ontario's Science Advisory Table says it's important for people to talk with their pharmacist and to be followed up on to avoid any serious drug interactions with fluvoxamine.
The advisory table lists a variety of other treatment options on the sheet to be considered as well. The recommendations differ between mildly, moderately and critically ill patients.
The panel also clarifies that the guidelines "are based on the best available data and may change as additional data becomes available."
Ontario has seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant and has responded with stronger restrictions, including 50% capacity limits for certain establishments, social gathering limits indoors and outdoors, and a host of new rules for restaurants in an attempt to curb the spread.