FRIDAY, June 5, 2020 (HealthDay News) — A small number of nonhospitalized patients with COVID-19 who self-medicated with high-dose famotidine reported some relief of their symptoms, according to a case series published online June 4 in Gut.

Tobias Janowitz, M.D., Ph.D., from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York City, and colleagues assessed longitudinal changes in patient-reported outcome measures in nonhospitalized patients with COVID-19 who self-administered high-dose famotidine. Data were included for 10 adult patients. Longitudinal severity scores of five symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, headaches, and anosmia) were collected, and general unwellness was modeled.

The most frequently used famotidine regimen was 80 mg three times daily for a median of 11 days. The researchers found that famotidine was well tolerated. After starting famotidine, all patients reported marked improvements in disease-related symptoms. Within 24 hours of starting famotidine, the combined symptom score improved significantly and peripheral oxygen saturation (two patients) and device-recorded activity (one patient) increased.

“Our case series suggests, but does not establish, a benefit from famotidine treatment in outpatients with COVID-19,” the authors write. “Clinically, we unreservedly share the opinion that well designed and informative studies of efficacy are required to evaluate candidate medications for COVID-19 as for other diseases.”

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