AYUSH-64 drug useful in COVID-19
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.
- AYUSH-64 as an adjunct to standard of care (SoC) showed significant improvement and thus lesser period of hospitalisation as compared to SoC alone.
- Several significant beneficial effects of the drug on general health, fatigue, anxiety, stress, appetite, general happiness and sleep were also observed.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.