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University of Minnesota strengthens case to treat COVID-19 with metformin, not ivermectin

Patients with COVID-19 had lower viral loads if treated with metformin, according to new University of Minnesota research that argues for broader use of the cheap anti-diabetes drug and against the controversial use of ivermectin.

Thursday's published findings helped connect the dots and explain why metformin in a U-led clinical trial reduced the likelihood of COVID-related hospitalizations or the development of long COVID illness. The amount of virus in patients is often associated with the severity of illnesses and complications, and it was found to be almost fourfold lower in patients in the trial who took metformin vs. non-medicating placebo pills.

The results "could be a tipping point" that convinces doctors to prescribe metformin to treat COVID, said Dr. Carolyn Bramante, the lead U researcher of the drug trial. "But people are cautious about using repurposed meds" so she predicted many will wait for results of a larger federally funded drug trial called ACTIV-6.


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