CSH Labs, Northwell: Pepcid Alleviates Covid Symptoms


By Priya Persaud


A recently clinical study published by the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research at Northwell Health and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, concluded that the drug famotidine – the primary ingredient in the over-the-counter drug Pepcid – produced a reduction of symptoms and body inflammation caused by Covid.


The Northwell - Cold Spring Harbor Labs study highlights the role that repurposed pharmaceuticals can play in treating new diseases such as Covid.


Oftentimes, the Covid virus overstimulates the body’s inflammatory response. This leads to people becoming sick and experiencing adverse symptoms. However, previous research studies have shown that famotidine, the common heartburn drug regarded as Pepcid, reduces the body’s inflammation by obstructing a specific molecular pathway. Moreover, this new study concluded that famotidine contributes to alleviating inflammation due to Covid, and it resolves symptoms due to the virus.


In the study, fifty-five Covid-positive adults were used as test subjects. These participants initially had mild to moderate symptoms. Each adult was sent a cellular-activated Apple iPad, thermometer, a Bluetooth-enabled scale, spirometer to record the airflow of the lungs, a fitness tracker, and a pulse oximeter to study blood oxygen levels.


Three times a day for fourteen consecutive days, each adult took either a placebo or famotidine at 80mg. A total of twenty-eight adults received the placebo, whereas twenty-seven participants received the famotidine.


Blood draws and COVID-19 nasal swab tests were taken by Northwell’s Home Lab program. It was concluded, through the blood work results, that the adults who took famotidine underwent a faster resolution of bodily inflammation. Also, the participants were able to tolerate the higher dosage of famotidine very well.


“We found that famotidine is safe at the higher doses used and see molecular and clinical evidence that it improves the recovery of symptomatic patients of diverse ancestries diagnosed with Covid,” stated Tobias Janowitz, MD, PhD. Janowitz is the primary investigator of the study, assistant professors at Cold Spring Harbor Labs, and an adjunct professor at the Feinstein Institutes.


“Because famotidine does not target the virus directly like vaccines or antiviral medications, it may be a promising potential treatment for patients with Covid and emergent viral variants,” noted the researchers.