COVID-19: Pepcid as a Potential Solution


Pepcid contains famotidine, an ingredient that may aid in COVID-19 recovery.

Brendan Guillen, Reporter

Famotidine, an ingredient in over-the-counter heartburn medication Pepcid, is being tested by 23 hospitals throughout New York in the hopes that it will help those infected by COVID-19 fight the virus. In the words of Dr. Kevin Tracey, President of Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research at Northwell Health in New York, famotidine theoretically has a structure that prevents COVID-19 from replicating. Doctors warn not to seek the medication unless it is prescribed by a doctor.

Heartburn medications were being tested in China, and according to Dr. Michael Callahan, an infectious disease specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital who worked with coronavirus patients in China, those with heartburn who used heartburn medication that included famotidine were better off than those who didn’t. 6,000 patients had been tested and it was discovered that those who used famotidine fared slightly better than those who did not. It was noted that the lower class fared better, potentially due to the upper class using a more expensive drug lacking the ingredient.

Florida-based organization Alchem Laboratories, made a computer model that created a list of drugs that could fight the virus and famotidine appeared. Famotidine initially blocked H2 receptors that excrete acid on the surface of the stomach cells.

The New York drug trials began back on April 14th. The patients in the study are being given nine times the regular amount of famotidine via IV. However, the New York study lacks a control factor, meaning there is no way of knowing how effective famotidine is against COVID-19 when compared to the natural immune system. The results of the New York tests have yet to be reported but there may be a ray of hope if the results prove successful