Can certain antidepressants protect severe forms of Covid?

THE CHEKING PROCESS – Several studies seem to indicate that certain antidepressants could play a favorable role in the course of the disease.

THE QUESTION. It’s a surprising finding to say the least: people treated with certain antidepressants may be less likely to be admitted to intensive care or to die from Covid. In any case, this is the idea put forward by French researchers and doctors, in works published in early February in the journal Molecular Psychiatry . A study that could pave the way for potential new treatments. But is this result that promising?

CHECKS. Finding treatments for a new virus is not easy. Rather than starting from scratch, scientists systematically resort to a trick: they try to see if, among the already existing drugs, some could be effective. This is what Dr Nicolas Hoertel *, psychiatrist at the Corentin-Celton hospital (Issy-les-Moulineaux, AP-HP) did with his team.

The choice to take an interest in antidepressants is no accident, as the doctor tells Figaro : “Very quickly, I was quite surprised to see that in our psychiatric department of more than 80 beds, specializing in the elderly, we had very few cases of symptomatic Covid. Only 4 patients developed a severe form, even though many caregivers fell ill ”. Several studies had already shown that taking

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