Everyday drug Aspirin to be tested as COVID-19 remedy

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Aspirin, a drug commonly used as a blood thinner and to reduce pain or fever will now be tested as a possible solution against COVID-19 in the world’s largest clinical trial of treatments for patients hospitalized with the infection.

Patients with COVID-19 are found to be at a higher risk of blood clots because the platelets which are the small cell fragments that help to clot the blood, seem to be hyperreactive in patients with coronavirus infection. Since aspirin is an antiplatelet agent it may reduce the risk of clots, the Randomized Evaluation of COVID-19 therapy (RECOVERY) trials quoted on their website.

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“There is a clear rationale for believing that aspirin might be beneficial and it is safe, inexpensive and widely available. We are looking for medicines for COVID-19 that can be used immediately by anyone, anywhere in the world,” said Professor Peter Horby, co-chief investigator of the trial.

The team expects at least 2,000 trial participants to randomly get 150 mg of aspirin daily along with the usual standard of care and results from these patients will be compared with at least 2,000 other patients who got the standard-of-care on its own.

RECOVERY’s assessment will be mainly focused on the mortality rate after 28 days along with factors such as the impact on hospital stay and the need for ventilation.

The team has also cleared that patients who are hypersensitive to aspirin or those who have experienced severe bleeding or those who already take aspirin or other antiplatelet drugs won’t be allocated for the trials.

Prof. Martin Landary
Prof. Martin Landary
Co-lead – RECOVERY trial

“Aspirin is widely used to prevent blood clots in many other conditions, including heart attack, stroke, and pre-eclampsia in pregnant women. But enrolling patients in a randomized trial such as RECOVERY is the only way to assess whether there are clear benefits for patients with COVID-19 and whether those benefits outweigh any potential side effects such as the risk of bleeding.”


The RECOVERY trial is conducted by the registered clinical study units with the Nuffield Department of Population Health in partnership with the Nuffield Department of Medicine. The study involved thousands of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and research administrators at 176 hospitals in the UK and recruited 16,000 patients.

Other treatments being tested in the RECOVERY trial include common antibiotic azithromycin and Regeneron’s antibody cocktail.

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