AYUSH-64, a drug developed for curing malaria in 1980, can be useful for the treatment of asymptomatic, mild and moderate COVID-19 infection cases, the Ministry of AYUSH said. The trial at King George's Medical University (KGMU), Lucknow; Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences (DMIMS), Wardha; and BMC COVID Centre, Mumbai involved 70 participants in each arm.

What

  1. AYUSH-64 as an adjunct to standard of care (SoC) showed significant improvement and thus lesser period of hospitalisation as compared to SoC alone.
  2. Several significant beneficial effects of the drug on general health, fatigue, anxiety, stress, appetite, general happiness and sleep were also observed.
  3. The drug’s trial study has provided substantial evidence that AYUSH-64 can be effectively and safely used to treat mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 as adjuvant to SoC.
  4. Patients on AYUSH-64 drugs will still require monitoring so as to identify any worsening of disease requiring more intensive therapy with oxygen and other treatment measures provided during hospitalisation.
  5. The Ayush-CSIR Joint Monitoring Committee has also recommended the ministry to communicate to state licensing authorities/regulators regarding adding new indication of AYUSH-64 for repurposing in the management of mild to moderate COVID-19.
  6. AYUSH-64 comprises Alstonia scholaris (aqueous bark extract), Picrorhiza kurroa (aqueous rhizome extract), Swertia chirata (aqueous extract of whole plant) and Caesalpinia crista (fine-powdered seed pulp).
  7. This medicine is also recommended in the National Clinical Management Protocol based on Ayurveda and Yoga, which is vetted by the National Task Force on COVID-19 Management of ICMR.