UC joins nationwide clinical study to test medications for mild-to-moderate COVID-19

Site recruiting participants age 30 or older with COVID-19 symptoms, positive test

The University of Cincinnati is joining a nationwide study to evaluate repurposed medications in the search for effective, safe treatments for mild-to-moderate COVID-19. Repurposed medications are those already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for other indications.

ACTIV-6, “The Randomized Trial to Evaluate Efficacy of Repurposed Medications,” is a nationwide double-blind study expected to enroll nearly 15,000 participants from across the United States through its website.  

The study recently expanded its testing platform to evaluate three repurposed medications in the search for effective, safe treatments for mild-to-moderate COVID-19. Web and phone-based enrollment allows people anywhere in the United States diagnosed with COVID-19 as outpatients to help test potential COVID-19 treatments without leaving home.

"Not only does the ACTIV-6 study help answer important questions related to treatment options for mild-to-moderate COVID-19, but it also does so in a way that increases the accessibility of clinical trials to our community members,” says Margaret Powers-Fletcher, PhD, assistant professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Internal Medicine at the UC College of Medicine and principal investigator of the ACTIV-6 study at UC. “This improves our ability to all work together toward medical advancement and scientific discovery in the face of a continued public health crisis."

Doug Brown, MD Infectious Disease in White Coat

Douglas Brown,MD, assistant professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Internal Medicine at the UC College of Medicine/Photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand

The study is now testing these repurposed medications:

  • Ivermectin, used to treat parasitic infections;
  • Fluticasone, an inhaled steroid commonly prescribed for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; and
  • Fluvoxamine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, often prescribed for depression.

To be eligible, participants must be 30 years old or older, have had a positive COVID-19 test within the past 10 days and have at least two symptoms of the illness for seven days or less. Symptoms include fatigue, difficulty breathing, fever, cough, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, body aches, chills, headache, sore throat, nasal symptoms, and/or new loss of sense of taste or smell.

Participation involves taking the medication and keeping track of symptoms over 90 days through online surveys. Medications are shipped at no cost to participants.

"We're excited for UC to be a part of ACTIV-6,” says Douglas Brown, MD, assistant professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Internal Medicine at the UC College of Medicine and medical director for the ACTIV-6 trial at UC. “With COVID-19 cases in Ohio recently exceeding the peak from a year ago and with supplies of newer, COVID-specific medications limited, we hope this trial will provide valuable insight about other medications that may help to ease COVID symptoms or help keep people from becoming severely sick."

To enroll, visit activ6study.org, or call the center at 833-385-1880. To contact the local UC ACTIV-6 study team, call 513-760-5936.

Lead photo of Powers-Fletcher/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand

Next Lives Here

The University of Cincinnati is classified as a Research 1 institution by the Carnegie Commission and is ranked in the National Science Foundation's Top-35 public research universities. UC's medical, graduate and undergraduate students and faculty investigate problems and innovate solutions with real-world impact. Next Lives Here.