Aspirin is widely used to reduce the risk of blood clots. Scientists had hopes that this affordable drug could be effective in treating critically ill patients with COVID-19, who often have bleeding disorders. Unfortunately, large clinical trials have fallen short of these expectations.
The feasibility of using aspirin was evaluated in the large-scale RECOVERY study, which is being conducted by the University of Oxford to study promising drugs for COVID-19. It involved about 15 thousand patients hospitalized with COVID-19 from November last year to March 2021. They were randomly divided into two groups: 7.3 thousand people, along with standard therapy, received daily 150 mg of aspirin per day, another 7.5 thousand underwent conventional treatment.
As a result, scientists have not received any evidence that aspirin can reduce the risk of death in patients. The risk of death for patients who received aspirin and who received conventional therapy was the same within 28 days, about 17%. The drug did not show efficacy in improving the prognosis for patients requiring mechanical ventilation.
The only small, but not significant, benefit of aspirin was the reduction in the length of hospital stay for patients: an average of 8 days versus 9 days with standard treatment.
“But this is not enough to justify widespread use of aspirin in hospitalized COVID-19 patients,” said Peter Horby, University of Oxford professor and head of RECOVERY.
Earlier, the RECOVERY study excluded azithromycin from the list of possible drugs for the treatment of COVID-19.