University of Minnesota Medical School researchers have launched two new clinical trials to test whether the blood pressure medication losartan can prevent lung injury in people recently diagnosed with COVID-19.
One trial examines its efficacy in those hospitalized with COVID-19 pneumonia, the second its ability to prevent hospitalization in patients diagnosed with COVID-19. The trials are based on losartan’s effects on the hormone angiotensin II, which normally maintains blood pressure.
The novel coronavirus interferes with the mechanism that regulates the hormone’s level; this leads to high blood pressure and lung damage. Losartan, however, blocks the action of the hormone. The researchers hope this will counteract the effects of the excess angiotensin II and prevent lung damage in COVID-19 patients.
The inpatient trial takes place in Minnesota at M Health Fairview hospitals and Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC), as well as multiple sites nationwide. The outpatient arm of the trial will enroll patients at M Health Fairview hospitals, Mayo Clinic, and HCMC.
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