Could an old heartburn drug emerge as a treatment for COVID-19?April 27, 2020, 2:45 AM7 min read Over the past few weeks researchers have been discreetly studying a new potential treatment for COVID-19 — and it might not be what you expect. The treatment in question is called famotidine, and it’s the active ingredient in Pepcid, an over-the-counter medication commonly used to alleviate heartburn. Since March 13, researchers at Northwell Health, a network of hospitals in New York, have been enrolling patients hospitalized with COVID-19 into their study of famotidine, which is being delivered through an IV in megadoses nine times greater than the typical over-the-counter dose. The drug is being given in combination with the much-touted antimalarial hydroxychloroquine. Researchers said some data on safety will be available “in a few weeks,” but did not say when data will be available showing whether the drug combination is effective. Dr. Kevin Tracey, CEO and president of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research at Northwell Health, says the study was being conducted under the radar to avoid media attention as well as a potential depletion of national supply, limiting Northwell’s access to the drug. More than 180 patients have enrolled in the


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