BUFFALO, N.Y. — Dr. Sanjay Sethi is a professor of Medicine at University at Buffalo. He says that right now, current treatments for COVID-19 are not widely available because of cost.
What You Need To Know
- Dr. Sanjay Sethi is part of a UB research team looking at melatonin as a possible treatment for those with mild cases of COVID-19
- Researchers say the hormone cuts down on inflammation without compromising the body's immune system
- At the end of the month, researchers will be recruiting patients who are dealing with a mild case of COVID-19
"They are meant for sicker patients for COVID-19, but they do, and will, cost thousands of dollars," said Dr. Sethi.
He's part of a UB research team now looking at melatonin as a possible treatment for those with mild cases of COVID-19. Dr. Sethi says the idea was brought to his attention by his colleague and leader of the research team, Dr. Margarita Dubocovich.
"It cuts down on inflammation," said Dr. Sethi.
Researchers say the hormone cuts down on inflammation without compromising the body's immune system. Dr. Sethi says COVID-19 positive patients get into trouble when they get too much inflammation. During this first trial, his team will research whether using higher dosages is safe to treat mild-to-moderate COVID-19 cases.
"We really want to show that the effects of melatonin shorten the disease," said Dr. Sethi.
UB's clinical trial has been approved by the FDA. Once proven safe in the first phase, they will then move on to discover how effective the treatment is for coronavirus.
"Of course we need to find out if it works or not, so I advise people not take it," added Dr. Sethi.
UB researchers say the inexpensive over-the-counter drug could be particularly helpful in treating underserved communities.
"A big part of our role is to serve our community," said Dr. Sethi. "We want to make sure treatment is available to them."
At the end of the month, researchers will be recruiting patients who are dealing with a mild case of COVID-19. Those who are diagnosed within 72 hours are eligible for the trial.