Febuxostat could be an alternative to HCQ in COVID-19 treatment: Study

July 18, 2020 0 By FM

Febuxostat (FBX) could be used as an alternative treatment to hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) for COVID-19 patients, suggests a recent study conducted by researchers at the Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences. The study is published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice.

Febuxostat (FBX) is a xanthine oxidase inhibitor used for the treatment of hyperuricemia in patients with gout. FBX is known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-apoptosis effects.

The effects of FBX versus HCQ on clinical symptoms, chest CT findings, and laboratory tests in outpatients having moderate symptoms of COVID-19 infection were evaluated in a clinical trial involving adult outpatients with moderate respiratory illness. The participants were randomly assigned to receive either FBX or HCQ for 5 days. The requirement of the patients for hospitalization and clinical and laboratory data including fever, cough, breathing rate, C‐reactive protein level, lymphocytes count, were assessed until the 5th day of the treatment.

In addition, CT findings were evaluated on admission and 14 days after initiation of treatment.Sixty subjects were enrolled in the study with half of the participants receiving FBX and HCQ respectively. The study documented that about 66.7% of the participants at the time of admission had a fever, 87% had symptoms like cough , 44.4% had tachypnea and 35% had dyspnea. Around  94.4% had elevated CRP value and the lungs were affected in all patients according to their chest CT (100%). 

The findings showed that fever, cough and tachypnea were significantly alleviated in both groups after five days of treatments without any significant differences between groups.

The mean percentages of lung involvement were significantly reduced to 7.3% and 8% after 14 days of treatment with FBX and HCQ, respectively. In adult outpatients with moderate COVID‐19 infection, the effectiveness of FBX and HCQ was not different in terms of resolution of clinical manifestations, laboratory tests, and lung CT findings, noted the researchers.

“This trial suggests that FBX is an alternative treatment to HCQ for COVID‐19 infection and may be considered in patients with a contraindication or precaution to HCQ,” conclude the authors.