Efficacy of oral famotidine in patients hospitalized with COVID-19

Key Messages

In this trial, 89 hospitalized COVID-19 patients were treated with 40 mg oral famotidine daily in addition to standard therapy and were compared to 89 patients who received standard therapy alone.

Patients receiving famotidine became symptom free quicker (8.5 vs. 9.4 days) and were released from hospital earlier (8.6 vs. 10.3 days). Famotidine treatment did not show significant impact on the need for mechanical ventilation, admission to intensive care units or on survival odds.

Cureus

Publication Date: February 20, 2022
Peer Reviewed: Yes
Publication Type: Original | Clinical Prospective
DOI: https://www.doi.org/10.7759/cureus.22404

Efficacy of Oral Famotidine in Patients Hospitalized With Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2

Suraksha Pahwani, Mahesh Jadwani, Aperna Dhanwani, Mehak Gul, Darshan Lal, FNU Rakesh, Raffey Shabbir, Amber Rizwan

Abstract

Introduction:
The clinical benefit of famotidine has been observed in the management of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). However, its use in the management of SARS-CoV-2 is intriguing and not well established yet. In this study, we aimed to determine the role of famotidine as adjuvant therapy in improving the outcome of patients hospitalized with coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19).

Methods:
This two-arm open-label randomized interventional study was conducted in the COVID-19 unit of a tertiary care hospital in Pakistan from December 2020 to September 2021. Patients between the ages of 18 to 65 years, hospitalized with COVID-19 infection, were enrolled in the study. Participants were randomized into two groups. The intervention group received 40 mg oral famotidine daily in addition to the standard care and the control group received standard care as per national guidelines for the treatment of COVID-19 in Pakistan.

Results:
Patients admitted with COVID-19 who received famotidine took comparatively fewer days to become symptom-free (8.5 ± 1.7 vs. 9.4 ± 1.9 days, p-value: <0.001) and spent fewer days in hospital (8.6 ± 1.6 vs. 10.3 ± 2.2 days; p-value: <0.0001). However, the overall difference in the need for mechanical ventilation and mortality between the interventional arm and placebo was not significant.

Conclusion:
In this study, adding famotidine to standard treatment of COVID-19 was associated with faster clinical recovery and shorter stay in the hospital. However, there was no difference in the need for mechanical ventilation, need for intensive care unit, and overall mortality. Further large-scale studies are needed to understand the role of famotidine in COVID-19 and its mechanism of action in patients with COVID-19.