AMSTERDAM (ANP) – A drug against depression may also help patients with long-term Covid. A study published Thursday examined 95 patients with the disease. In two-thirds of them, their symptoms decreased “significantly” after treatment with a so-called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which is also prescribed for people with depression.
The results were “surprisingly good”, according to the Dutch researchers. For example, some patients said they felt like they were getting their lives back. Specifically, 7.5 percent reported a strong improvement, 29 percent a good improvement and 27 percent a moderately good improvement. A quarter noticed only a slight improvement. Nearly 10 percent saw no change at all.
People with long-term Covid have a wide range of complaints, from excessive fatigue and ‘brain fog’ to problems with memory and shortness of breath. According to the researchers, feelings of being overstimulated and having brain fog improved the most. The medications had the least effect on muscle complaints.
The drugs improved the availability of serotonin in the brain. This has a stimulating effect on memory, mood, sleep and emotion. The researchers think that this explains the positive effect on patients with long-term Covid.
Dutch researchers publish this first research into the medicines in the scientific journal Scientific Reports by Nature. More studies are needed to confirm the findings.
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