A common drug called famotidine, which is used to treat ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease, as well as heartburn, is being studied in New York City hospitals as a potential treatment for COVID-19.
Earlier this month, around 187 coronavirus patients at hospitals operated by Northwell Health in the New York City area started receiving famotidine intravenously. Famotidine is the active ingredient in Pepcid, an over-the-counter drug.
The patients enrolled in the trial are receiving megadoses of the drug – around nine times higher than the regular over-the-counter dose. Kevin Tracey, president of the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, which is part of Northwell Health, told CNN that he hopes 1,200 people will eventually be enrolled in the study.