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Disulfiram use is associated with lower risk of COVID-19: A retrospective cohort study

Fillmore, N; Bell, S; Shen, C; Nguyen, V; La, J; Dubreuil, M; Strymish, J; ... Sander, C; + view all (2021) Disulfiram use is associated with lower risk of COVID-19: A retrospective cohort study. PLOS ONE , 16 (10) , Article e0259061. 10.1371/journal.pone.0259061. Green open access

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Abstract

Effective, low-cost therapeutics are needed to prevent and treat COVID-19. Severe COVID-19 disease is linked to excessive inflammation. Disulfiram is an approved oral drug used to treat alcohol use disorder that is a potent anti-inflammatory agent and an inhibitor of the viral proteases. We investigated the potential effects of disulfiram on SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease severity in an observational study using a large database of clinical records from the national US Veterans Affairs healthcare system. A multivariable Cox regression adjusted for demographic information and diagnosis of alcohol use disorder revealed a reduced risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection with disulfiram use at a hazard ratio of 0.66 (34% lower risk, 95% confidence interval 24-43%). There were no COVID-19 related deaths among the 188 SARS-CoV-2 positive patients treated with disulfiram, in contrast to 5-6 statistically expected deaths based on the untreated population (P = 0.03). Our epidemiological results suggest that disulfiram may contribute to the reduced incidence and severity of COVID-19. These results support carefully planned clinical trials to assess the potential therapeutic effects of disulfiram in COVID-19.

Type: Article
Title: Disulfiram use is associated with lower risk of COVID-19: A retrospective cohort study
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0259061
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal. pone.0259061
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine > Inst for Liver and Digestive Hlth
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10137810
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