August 25, 2022

COVID-19: WHO cautions against fluvoxamine, colchicine

3 in 5 new HIV infections are girls without access to education, says WHO

By Sola Ogundipe

THE World Health Organisation, WHO has warned patients with mild or moderate cases of  COVID-19, against the use of fluvoxamine, an antidepressant drug, and colchicine, a drug for gout.

The WHO said current indications did not justify using colchicine to treat non-severe illnesses, and that fluvoxamine should not be used without clinical trials

The report by the WHO Guideline Development Group said the advice became necessary due to insufficient evidence of better results from the use of the drugs and their potential harm. a panel of international experts in the British Medical Journal

From the report,  no recommendation was made for either drug in patients with severe or critical illness, given limited or no data.

“Fluvoxamine and colchicine are commonly used, inexpensive drugs that have received considerable interest as potential COVID-19 treatments during the pandemic.

“However, today’s recommendations against their use reflect ongoing uncertainty about how the drugs produce an effect on the body

“Also the evidence of little or no effect on survival and other important measures, such as the risk of hospital admission and need for mechanical ventilation.

“There is also a lack of reliable data on covid-19 related serious harms associated with these drugs,” it said.

It said that the WHO’s advice against the use of fluvoxamine except in clinical trials was informed by data from three randomised controlled trials (RCTs) involving over 2,000 patients.

Their strong advice against colchicine was based on data from seven RCTs involving 16,484 patients.

The WHO said the panel noted that none of the included studies enrolled children, so the applicability of these recommendations to children is uncertain.

It, however, said the panel did not see the reason why children with COVID-19 would respond any differently to treatment with fluvoxamine or colchicine.

The WHO also warned against the use of convalescent plasma, ivermectin, and hydroxychloroquine in patients with COVID-19 regardless of disease severity.