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Fluvoxamine for Long COVID-19

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Know the risks and potential benefits of clinical studies and talk to your health care provider before participating. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT05874037
Recruitment Status : Recruiting
First Posted : May 24, 2023
Last Update Posted : August 14, 2023
Balvi COVID Fund
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Washington University School of Medicine

Brief Summary:
This clinical trial aims to test the effects of fluvoxamine as a treatment for Long COVID. Fluvoxamine is an FDA approved SSRI for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), that has already had success in preventing hospitalization in patients with COVID-19 (STOP COVID and TOGETHER trials). This trial is testing whether fluoxamine helps to improve symptoms and the negative impacts of long COVID in residents of Missouri and Illinois.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Long COVID Drug: Fluvoxamine Phase 2 Phase 3

Detailed Description:
This clinical trial will test a promising drug for treatment of long COVID in 300 adults who 1) are post-COVID-19 (at least 3 months since initial COVID symptoms and/or test confirming SARS-CoV-2 infection); and 2) have evidence of neurocognitive Long COVID (e.g., "brain fog", trouble concentrating, etc) which is causing suffering and/or impairment. The trial will determine whether fluvoxamine (1) reduces long COVID symptoms, 2) improves cognitive performance. Fluvoxamine is an SSRI (FDA approved for OCD) that also activates the sigma-1 receptor (an immunomodulatory receptor). It has been shown to prevent clinical deterioration and hospitalization in outpatients with acute COVID-19 (STOP COVID and TOGETHER trials). For the current study, we will randomize participants to fluvoxamine which is initially dosed at their preference, vs. placebo. This is done in the following manner. First, each participant will receive an acute bout of fluvoxamine: one dose of 25mg, then one dose of 50mg, then one dose of 100mg. We will assess their subjective reaction to these test doses and use the information to randomize them to an individually tailored course of fluvoxamine, vs. a matched placebo, for 16 weeks. The benefits of this are (1) participants are more likely to accept randomization and continue in the study if randomized to a dose they've already tested and accepted; (2) participants' initial response, if any, to the acute dose may allow future precision-medicine use of fluvoxamine, allowing physicians to give patients a test dose and then a full trial preferentially to participants who are likely to respond. After the randomized portion of the trial, participants will be given an opportunity to participate in open-label treatment with fluvoxamine for 16 weeks. At the end of treatment, the study medication will be tapered off over an approximate 1-2 week period, depending on the final dose of study medication, and adjusted as appropriate if they experience discontinuation symptoms. Outcome assessments will be a combination of patient-reported assessments, validated neuropsychological tests, and biomarkers of underlying inflammatory pathophysiology.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 300 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double (Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Actual Study Start Date : May 15, 2023
Estimated Primary Completion Date : May 15, 2025
Estimated Study Completion Date : May 15, 2025

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Fluvoxamine Drug: Fluvoxamine
Fluvoxamine is an FDA approved drug for the treatment of OCD. This trial is testing the effects of the drug on long COVID.

Placebo Comparator: Placebo Drug: Fluvoxamine
Fluvoxamine is an FDA approved drug for the treatment of OCD. This trial is testing the effects of the drug on long COVID.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Number of participants with improvement of long COVID symptoms [ Time Frame: Approximately 18 weeks ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   25 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. Men and woman age 25 and older;
  2. Not currently hospitalized
  3. Participant self-report of past acute COVID episode with symptom onset and/or initial positive test at least 3 months since initial COVID symptoms and/or test confirming SARS-CoV-2 infection Note: Since some people with long COVID may not have been able to obtain testing during the acute phase of illness, history of a positive COVID-19 test is not required. We will collect data regarding the results of any past COVID-19 testing, but this will not affect eligibility for the trial.
  4. Currently symptomatic with self-reported worsening of cognitive function for at least the past 2 months, that could not be better explained by other reasons (i.e. alternative diagnosis or medication changes).
  5. Able to provide informed consent.
  6. Currently reside in Missouri or Illinois

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Illness severe enough to require hospitalization at the time of starting the study.
  2. Unstable medical comorbidities (eg decompensated cirrhosis), per patient report and/or medical records.
  3. Immunocompromised from the following: solid organ transplant, BMT, high dose steroids (>20mg prednisone per day), or tocilizumab
  4. Already enrolled in another COVID 19 medication trial (not including vaccination or prophylaxis trials)
  5. Unable to provide informed consent
  6. Unable to perform the study procedures, including not being a resident of the states of Missouri or Illinois
  7. Taking donepezil (rationale: donepezil is a S1R agonist), or sertraline (rationale: sertraline is a strong sigma-1 antagonist).
  8. Taking phenytoin (rationale: fluvoxamine inhibits its metabolism), clopidogrel (rationale: fluvoxamine inhibits its metabolism from pro-drug to active drug which raises risk of cardiovascular events), and St John's wort (rationale: fluvoxamine + St John's wort are considered contraindicated because of the risk of serotonin syndrome)
  9. Taking SSRIs or SNRIs.
  10. Individuals who report they have bipolar disorder or are taking medication for bipolar disorder (lithium, valproate, high-dose antipsychotic), unless the investigator concludes that the risk for mania is unlikely (ie it is doubtful that the patient actually has bipolar disorder).
  11. Individuals who take alprazolam or diazepam and are unwilling to cut the medication by 25% (rationale: fluvoxamine modestly inhibits the metabolism of these drugs).
  12. Participants taking theophylline, tizanidine, clozapine, or olanzapine (drugs with a narrow therapeutic index that are primarily metabolized by CYP 1A2, which is inhibited by fluvoxamine) will be reviewed with a study investigator and excluded unless the investigator concludes that the risk to the participant is low (this would be unlikely; example: participant takes tizanidine only as needed and is willing to avoid it during study duration).

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT05874037

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Contact: Angela Stevens 314-362-6291

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United States, Missouri
Washington University School of Medicine Recruiting
Saint Louis, Missouri, United States, 63110
Contact: Angela Stevens   
Sponsors and Collaborators
Washington University School of Medicine
Balvi COVID Fund
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Principal Investigator: Eric Lenze, MD Washington University School of Medicine
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Responsible Party: Washington University School of Medicine Identifier: NCT05874037    
Other Study ID Numbers: 202211024
First Posted: May 24, 2023    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: August 14, 2023
Last Verified: August 2023
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: Undecided

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: Yes
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Product Manufactured in and Exported from the U.S.: Yes
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome
Pneumonia, Viral
Respiratory Tract Infections
Virus Diseases
Coronavirus Infections
Coronaviridae Infections
Nidovirales Infections
RNA Virus Infections
Lung Diseases
Respiratory Tract Diseases
Post-Infectious Disorders
Chronic Disease
Disease Attributes
Pathologic Processes
Anti-Anxiety Agents
Tranquilizing Agents
Central Nervous System Depressants
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Psychotropic Drugs
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
Neurotransmitter Uptake Inhibitors
Membrane Transport Modulators
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Neurotransmitter Agents
Serotonin Agents
Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation