Fluoxetine May Improve Survival of Patients with COVID-19 Pneumonia: A Retrospective Case-Control Study
23 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2021 Last revised: 22 Sep 2021
Date Written: July 30, 2021
Objective: We undertook this study to determine the effect of fluoxetine use on the survival of hospitalised coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pneumonia patients.
Methods: This retrospective case–control chart review study used data extracted from the medical records of adults who were hospitalised with moderate or severe COVID-19 pneumonia at the Uzsoki Teaching Hospital of the Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary, between 17 March and 22 April 2021, and received anti-COVID-19 therapy including favipiravir, remdesivir, and baricitinib or their combination, in addition to standard medical treatment; 110 patients received 20 mg fluoxetine orally once daily as adjuvant medication. Multivariable logistic regression was used to evaluate the association between fluoxetine use and mortality.
Results: Of the 269 participants, 205 (76.2%) survived and 64 (23.8%) died between days 2 and 28 after hospitalisation. Fluoxetine use was associated to a decrease of mortality risk (OR [95% CI] 0.242 [0.111–0.525], p<0.0001) compared to the non-fluoxetine group. Greater age, higher lactate dehydrogenase concentration, and baricitinib use (OR [95% CI] 1.1 [1.065–1.137], p<0.001; 1.001 [1.000–1.002], p=0.042; 3.62 [1.146–11.451], p=0.028, respectively) were significantly associated with higher mortality.
Conclusion: Provisional to confirmation in randomised controlled studies, fluoxetine may be a potent treatment for COVID-19 pneumonia.
Note: Funding: None to declare
Declaration of Interests: None to declare
Ethics Approval Statement: Uzsoki Street Teaching Hospital of the Semmelweis University in Budapest ethics committee approved our study (No 19-IK/2021)
Keywords: fluoxetine, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, pneumonia, survival, mortality
JEL Classification: I10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation