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Study Will Assess Drugs Used to Treat Young COVID-19 Patients

THURSDAY, June 11, 2020 (HealthDay News) — A study to assess several drugs currently being used to treat COVID-19 in infants, children and teens has been announced by the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

The drugs, including antiviral and anti-inflammatory medicines, are being prescribed off-label to children, meaning they haven’t been specifically tested or approved for use in children.

Drugs will be added or removed from the list of drugs given to patients younger than 21 with COVID-19 as researchers learn more about the treatment of these patients, according to the NICHD, which is funding the study.

The study — which will be conducted at 40 sites nationwide — isn’t a clinical trial with a control group. Instead, healthcare providers who are already treating young patients with drugs on the list will enroll patients whose parents or guardians have given their consent.

As well as analyzing blood samples to determine how the drugs move through the bodies of young patients, the researchers will collect information on potential side effects and patient outcomes.

Study findings will be used to refine drug dosing and improve safety for young patients with COVID-19, but it’s not designed to determine which drug is the best treatment for these patients.

“As we search for safe and effective therapies for COVID-19, we want to make sure that we do not overlook the needs of our youngest patients who may respond differently to these drugs, compared to adults,” Dr. Diana Bianchi, NICHD director, said in an institute news release.

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