Aspirin Doesn’t Help Covid Patients Survive in Large U.K. Study

Aspirin doesn’t improve chances of survival for patients hospitalized with Covid-19, according to a large study.

The 120-year-old drug, which is widely used to thin the blood of heart-disease patients, made no difference in mortality after about a month in a clinical trial that involved almost 15,000 volunteers. Survivors did spend one less day in the hospital compared with those who didn’t get a daily dose of aspirin, the researchers found.

Doctors were hopeful that aspirin could help combat the blood clots Covid-19 can cause in the lungs and elsewhere, but the trial results suggest the medicine will instead join the long list of treatments that can’t be repurposed to combat the coronavirus. Other letdowns include the malaria medicine hydroxychloroquine and the HIV medications ritonavir and lopinavir.

“Aspirin is inexpensive and widely used in other diseases to reduce the risk of blood clots, so it is disappointing that it did not have a major impact,” said Martin Landray, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of Oxford and one of the study’s lead authors.

The trial is part of a wider program called Recovery meant to test a range of existing drugs for effectiveness against Covid. The findings have yet to be peer-reviewed and published in a medical journal. Recovery helped show that at least one other treatment, Roche Holding AG’s arthritis drug Actemra, could boost patients’ survival.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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