COVID-OUT clinical trial seeks early treatment to prevent severe COVID-19 disease

Launched in January 2021, University of Minnesota Medical School researchers compared effectiveness of ivermectin, fluvoxamine and metformin in randomized double-blinded placebo-controlled trial treating COVID-19

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The COVID-OUT trial led by University of Minnesota Medical School researchers and the School of Public Health, was the first in the U.S. to study and understand if any of these drugs can prevent severe COVID-19 disease. The study results suggest that metformin decreases the likelihood of emergency visits, hospitalizations, or death due to COVID-19. The study found that neither ivermectin nor fluvoxamine decreases the chances of ER visits or hospitalization from COVID-19.

Metformin is a readily available drug that treats high blood sugar levels caused by type 2 diabetes. The study found that if prescribed early at the start of symptoms, it can lower the chance of severe COVID-19 disease by over 50 percent. The effectiveness of metformin treatment of COVID-19 was compared to treatments of ivermectin and a low dose of fluvoxamine.

The study included adults aged 30-85 who tested positive for SARS-Cov-2 three days prior and had a body mass index greater than 25 kg/m2. Patients received one of the three medicines, a combination of the three medicines, or a placebo. The patients kept track of their symptoms daily and completed a survey after day 14.

Through observational studies and computer modeling, the results of the study identified that metformin was more likely to decrease hospitalization and the likelihood of mortality from COVID-19. These findings significantly add to the body of knowledge around COVID-19 treatment.

Learn more about the study at


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