Common Diabetes Drug Effective in Reducing Prolonged COVID Symptoms

by Wall Street Rebel - Michael London | 06/09/2023 3:58 PM
Common Diabetes Drug Effective in Reducing Prolonged COVID Symptoms

Recent research, the administration of an inexpensive and readily available diabetes medication, Metformin, may potentially reduce the likelihood of developing long-term Covid symptoms by up to 41%.


According to the findings of a research that was published on Friday in “The Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal,” people who used an inexpensive diabetic medication called Metformin after testing positive for COVID-19 had a risk that was reduced by forty percent of acquiring lengthy COVID.

The discovery has been heralded as a possible "landmark" in the battle against the ailment that is still little understood. According to estimations provided by the World Health Organization, the condition affects one out of every ten persons who are infected with COVID-19.

The term "Long Covid" pertains to the persistence of symptoms following an acute episode of Covid-19. These symptoms commonly include fatigue, dyspnea, chest pain, and cough. Uncommon but persistent symptoms may comprise anosmia, joint pain, headache, rhinitis, reduced appetite, dizziness, myalgias, and insomnia.

Based on a conservative estimated incidence of 10% of infected individuals with over 651 million known COVID-19 cases worldwide, at least 65 million people have prolonged COVID; the amount is likely far higher due to countless undiscovered cases. It is estimated that 10-30% of non-hospitalized patients, 50-70% of hospitalized cases, and 10-12% of vaccinated instances are impacted. Long COVID is associated with all ages and acute phase disease severities, with the highest percentage of diagnoses occurring between the ages of 36 and 50 years, and the majority of long COVID cases occur in non-hospitalized patients with a mild acute illness6, accounting for the majority of overall COVID-19 cases. As noted in this Review, there are significant research challenges and open questions, particularly in the areas of pathophysiology, effective therapeutics, and risk factors.

According to the researchers' report, patients who were administered a two-week course of Metformin during their infection had a reduced risk of long COVID by approximately 40%.

The outcomes exhibited a more pronounced effect in cases where individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 initiated the administration of Metformin promptly after contracting the virus. Starting the medication within a span of three days subsequent to the onset of symptoms resulted in a reduction of over 60% in long COVID cases among the individuals concerned.

According to the study authors, this clinical trial represents the initial indication that any medication administered during COVID-19 infection could potentially mitigate the likelihood of long COVID.

According to Dr. Carolyn Bramante, an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis, administering metformin treatment for a duration of 14 days, initiated soon after infection, has the potential to avert the diagnosis of long COVID in the following 10 months.

"Long Covid is a significant public health emergency with long-term physical, mental, and economic consequences, particularly in socioeconomically marginalized groups."Our study found that taking Metformin, a safe, low-cost, and widely available medication, when first infected with the coronavirus, significantly reduces the risk of being diagnosed with long Covid," stated Bramante. On the other hand, Bramante said that their trial did not show whether Metformin would be as beneficial in treating individuals with chronic Covid.

According to the researchers' background notes, long-term symptoms linked to a COVID-19 infection are a developing chronic ailment that can potentially impact millions of individuals globally.

It is widely believed that Long COVID stems from the harm inflicted on various organs in the body, including but not limited to the brain, lungs, and heart, as a result of the infection. Hence, the manifestation of symptoms may differ among individual patients.

In May, a comprehensive symptom checklist was published for long COVID. The list encompasses a range of symptoms, including brain fog, fatigue, post-exertional malaise, dizziness, gastrointestinal problems, heart palpitations, changes in sexual desire or capacity, altered ability to smell or taste, chest pain, chronic cough, thirst and abnormal movements.

As per a study, the researchers approximated that nearly 10% of individuals who contracted the virus during the initial Omicron wave experienced long COVID within six months of their illness.

Metformin was granted approval in the United States in 1995 for the purpose of treating diabetes. However, it has also been recognized for its antiviral properties.

According to Bramante, laboratory tests have indicated that Metformin has the potential to impede the replication and dissemination of the COVID virus. This has led to the initiation of the current clinical trial.

During the trial, a total of 1,126 COVID-19 patients were selected at random to participate. Of these patients, 564 were assigned to receive a two-week regimen of Metformin, while the remaining 562 were administered an inert placebo pill. The recruitment of patients took place from December 2020 to January 2022.

Each patient exhibited a body mass index indicative of overweight or obesity, a well-established risk factor for severe COVID-19 infection. All individuals aged 30 or above experienced mild to moderate infections that did not necessitate hospitalization.

The physicians initiated the administration of Metformin to the patients at a dosage of 500 milligrams (mg), which was subsequently increased in a gradual manner to a daily dose of 1,500 mg over a period of 14 days. As per the information provided by, the approximate price of Metformin stands at $11 for a package of 14 tablets, each containing 500 mg of the medication.

Subsequently, the researchers monitored all patients for a duration of 10 months to determine the incidence of long COVID.

According to the findings, a two-week regimen of Metformin resulted in a 41% decrease in the likelihood of long COVID compared to a placebo. Furthermore, if patients initiated the medication early in their infection, the risk of long COVID was reduced by 63%.

The results obtained are consistent with the previously published outcomes of this trial, which demonstrated that metformin treatment led to a reduction of over 40% in emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and fatalities caused by COVID-19 within a fortnight of commencing the therapy.

The trial results were deemed "provocative, interesting, and very encouraging" by Dr. William Schaffner, who serves as the medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.

Schaffner emphasized the importance of corroborating scientific findings and encouraged additional research on Metformin. Schaffner believes that upon disseminating this information, numerous physicians and patients alike will express familiarity with the drug Metformin and its proper usage. The situation is secure. The approach is efficacious. It is worth exploring if we can mitigate the potential for long-term effects of COVID-19, which is a concern for many patients upon contracting the virus.

According to Bramante, the primary reason for Metformin's apparent ability to prevent long COVID is its antiviral activity. Additionally, the drug is known to mitigate the detrimental effects of infection-induced inflammation.

According to Bramante, Metformin is considered to be a highly safe medication for individuals, especially if it is administered for a short duration of two weeks.

Bramante explained that the primary mechanism by which Metformin addresses diabetes is through the mitigation of liver inflammation, coupled with the inhibition of glucose production in the body. Metformin does not exhibit the glucose-lowering effects of insulin, thereby precluding the occurrence of hypoglycemia in individuals with or without diabetes.

According to Schaffner, including Metformin in the existing COVID treatments could be a valuable development, especially given the absence of evidence for mitigating the risk of long COVID.

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