Nitric Oxide as Coronavirus Treatment Begins Testing
Nitric Oxide as Coronavirus Treatment Begins Testing
May 11, 2020 by eMedEvents

Researchers have begun testing nitric oxide, as a treatment against COVID-19, for those experiencing mild symptoms. Researchers claim the purpose for these trials, is to hopefully find a cure to stop the diseases progression once inside the body. In doing so, two benefits would arise, if the desired results are achieved, nitric oxide would lower the number of severe symptoms caused by COVID-19, while also simultaneously easing the burden being carried by HCPs during this trying time. Nobel Prize winning scientists and discoverer of nitric oxide, Dr. Louis Ignarro, had this to say of the recent clinical trial news “Having spent twelve years as a professor in Louisiana, I am very proud LSU Shreveport (one of the departments helping conduct and analyze the trials results) is conducting yet another clinical trial involving nitric oxide. I applaud these novel efforts, to address this viral pandemic”.  

Nitric gas is described as a colorless, tasteless, short-acting gas that widens blood vessels in the lungs when inhaled. It is most well known as a practice, that has saved many oxygen deprived babies. Nitric oxide performs as a muscle relaxer, relaxing the low-pressure blood vessels in the lungs, and helps blood travel to the same areas of the body the oxide has reached. Basically, nitric oxide helps the lungs work more effectively.

Researchers have speculated that nitric oxide could be effective against COVID-19, due to the genomic similarities between the new coronavirus and the MERS and SARS outbreak. Studies conducted in 2004-05 seemed to conclude that nitric oxide was efficient in killing the SARS disease. Numerous device companies already have been granted permission from the FDA, for expanded access offering inhaled nitric oxide gas for treating against COVID-19. Medical professionals claim that nitric oxide helps the body fight the coronavirus, in two ways. The first way, is it improves lung functionality, allowing for the proper amount oxygen to be given and dispersed throughout the body. The second benefit is, that it provides patients with antiviral activity, intervening with the S-protein-ACE-2 interaction.

Patients in the clinical trial, will be separated into two groups. Patients in the first group will receive standard care and nitric oxide gas, for up to 30 minutes, twice a day, for two consecutive weeks. Patients in the second group, will receive the same type of care, but will not be given any nitric oxide. Researchers will be observing and monitoring lung functionality among the two groups, to determine which group will still require ventilators.

This clinical trial has begun with and is being sponsored by the Department of Anesthesia and the Respiratory Care Services at the Massachusetts General Hospital. There are many other contributors, of whom one of the most prestigious, is LSU’s Shreveport.

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