Coronavirus: Aspirin may help prevent infection, Israeli study shows

"This observation of the possible beneficial effect of low doses of aspirin on COVID-19 infection is preliminary but seems very promising," Prof. Eli Magen from the Barzilai Medical Center said.

Pills (photo credit: INGIMAGE / ASAP)
Pills
(photo credit: INGIMAGE / ASAP)
The use of aspirin might help prevent becoming infected with corona and shorten the duration of the disease, a study conducted by a joint team from Leumit Health Care Services, Bar-Ilan University and Barzilai Medical Center has shown.
The study, whose findings were published in the FEBS Journal of the Federation of European Biochemical Societies, analyzed data from some 10,000 Israelis who were tested for COVID-19 between February 1 and June 30, 2020.
The researchers compared those who regularly take a low dose of aspirin as a medication to prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases with those who don’t.
They found that the former group was 29% less likely to become infected with the virus than the latter.
“This observation of the possible beneficial effect of low doses of aspirin on COVID-19 infection is preliminary but seems very promising,” Prof. Eli Magen from the Barzilai Medical Center, who led the study, said in a press release.
Aware of its established positive influence on the immune system in the fight against some viral infections, the team decided to explore the possible effect of its properties against COVID-19.
The researchers also observed that those who took aspirin and contracted the disease recovered on average two or three days faster than individuals who did not, depending on preexisting conditions. In addition, the time it took these patients to test negative for the virus after testing positive was significantly lower.
The physicians said that they intend to continue exploring this issue.
“The present study sought to better understand the potential favorable effects of aspirin in aiding the human immune system to battle COVID-19,” according to Dr. Milana Frenkel-Morgenstern of the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine of Bar-Ilan University. “We intend to investigate a larger cohort of patients and in randomized clinical trials”
Medications based on acetylsalicylic acid – aspirin’s essential component – are used to reduce pain, fever and inflammation and have been known since ancient times. The name was invented by the pharmaceutical company Bayer at the end of the 19th century. Aspirin is one of the most popular drugs in the world.