Losartan, a common blood pressure drug, was found in research from the University of Minnesota to be ineffective in preventing lung damage in COVID-19 patients. The report was published in JAMA Network Open.
Early results indicating benefit in preclinical models of the 2003 SARS virus, a close relative of the current SARS-CoV-2 virus, led to the investigation of this medication. Twelve academic research institutions in the United States participated in this investigation.
COVID-19 has the potential to result in lung problems such as pneumonia and, in the most severe cases, ARDS. Another potential COVID-19 consequence, sepsis, can injure the lungs and other organs permanently.
More airway diseases, such as bronchitis, that may be severe enough to require hospitalization, may also be brought on by more recent coronavirus strains. Pneumonia brought on by COVID-19 typically affects both lungs. Shortness of breath, coughing, and other symptoms are brought on when the fluid-filled air sacs in the lungs restrict the ability of the organs to absorb oxygen.
Although most people recover from pneumonia without any long-term lung damage, COVID-19-related pneumonia can be very serious. Lung damage may cause breathing problems that persist even after the disease has passed and may take months to resolve.
We hope that future study findings of these proteins may show insights into why the body responds the way it does to COVID-19. Critically, this will help us understand why some people develop severe disease following COVID-19 infection and others are asymptomatic.Christopher Tignanelli
The University of Minnesota Medical School and School of Public Health research team wanted to know if a common blood pressure drug could lessen lung damage in individuals with COVID-19 who were admitted to the hospital. According to their findings, treatment with losartan had no impact on mortality and had no effect on lung injury in patients admitted with COVID-19.
Additionally, the researchers discovered that losartan-treated critically sick patients required additional, temporary blood pressure support; nonetheless, overall results were unaffected.
“Even though this particular drug was not effective for the treatment of COVID-19, repurposing inexpensive and relatively safe medications remains an important approach to contain healthcare costs,” said Michael Puskarich, MD, an associate professor in emergency medicine at the U of M Medical School and co-author of this study.
“Finding effective treatments for COVID-19 that can be widely used across both the developed and developing world remains an important ongoing area of investigation,” Puskarich said, who is also an emergency physician at Hennepin Healthcare.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation contributed to the cost of this study. More research on the protein and cellular signaling of ALPS-COVID trial participants is still being done, according to the researchers.
The immune system fights the invader valiantly when a person with COVID-19. As a result, the body may become more susceptible to acquiring an additional bacterial or viral infection on top of the COVID-19 superinfection. Additional infection may cause more lung damage.
“We hope that future study findings of these proteins may show insights into why the body responds the way it does to COVID-19,” said Christopher Tignanelli, MD, MS, FACS, FAMIA, an assistant professor in surgery at the U of M Medical School and co-author on this study.
“Critically, this will help us understand why some people develop severe disease following COVID-19 infection and others are asymptomatic.”