A DRUG that is most commonly used to treat addiction could be beneficial to long Covid sufferers, scientists have discovered.
Naltrexone could help 'cure' ailments often associated with the chronic condition, such as brain fog and fatigue.
It's currently used by the Food and Drug Administration in the US to treat patients suffering with alcohol and opioid addiction.
Trials have been underway, using just 10mg of the drug – those who are prescribed it for addiction have to take 50mg.
The tests are being run by the US National Institutes of Health's RECOVER initiative.
The aim of the $1billion plan is to find treatments for long Covid.
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In the UK, the NHS has set up clinics to deal with people suffering with the myriad of symptoms caused by the condition.
Most treatments for the illness consist of looking at specific symptoms which have been caused by the initial bug's damage to organs.
But a low dose of naltrexone could reverse some of the underlying driving symptoms, researchers told Reuters.
In most cases, it works by a small pellet being inserted into the lower abdominal wall.
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The procedure is done under local anaesthetic and it should be effective for up to six months.
This pellet then releases a controlled amount of naltrexone into the body and if used for addiction, blocks the effect of opiate drugs.
Dr Jarred Younger, director of the Neuro-inflammation, Pain and Fatigue Laboratory at the University of Alabama at Birmingham said: "It should be at the top of everyone's list for clinical trials."
While it might work for some patients, medics have warned it wont work for all.
Previously, research has shown that there are different types of the ailment, as well as over 62 symptoms.
These symptoms include everything from respiratory issues, insomnia, bowel issues and body aches.
The trial looked at the impact on 218 patients and found 74 per cent had an improvement in sleep, pain and neurological issues.
Jaime Seltzer, a Stanford researcher and head of scientific outreach for the advocacy group MEAction said while these people weren't completely cured, they were helped.
It's not yet clear how the treatment works on long Covid patients and this is something medics are still exploring.
One 34-year-old patient who has been living with the lasting affects of the bug for two years , aid she can actually think clearly again after having been prescribed the drug.
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Lauren Nicholls, from Boston had been suffering with impaired thinking and focus, fatigue, seizures, headache and pain since her infection in 2020.
While she said it's not fixed all of her problems, she added that it's 'made me feel human again'.
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