Amantadine for COVID-19 treatment (ACT) study: a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial

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Objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed a severe need for effective antiviral treatment. The objectives of this study were to assess if pre-emptive treatment with amantadine for COVID-19 in non-hospitalized persons ≥40 years or adults with comorbidities was able to prevent disease progression and hospitalization. Primary outcomes were clinical status on day 14. Methods: Between 9 June 2021 and 27 January 2022, this randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, single-centre clinical trial included 242 subjects with a follow-up period of 90 days. Subjects were randomly assigned 1:1 to either amantadine 100 mg or placebo twice daily for 5 days. The inclusion criteria were confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and at least one of (a) age ≥40 years, age ≥18 years and (b) at least one comorbidity, or (c) body mass index ≥30. The study protocol was published at (unique protocol #02032021) and at (EudraCT-number 2021-001177-22). Results: With 121 participants in each arm, we found no difference in the primary endpoint with 82 participants in the amantadine arm, and 92 participants in the placebo arm with no limitations to activities, respectively, and 25 and 37 with limitations to activities in the amantadine arm and the placebo arm, respectively. No participants in either group were admitted to hospital or died. The OR of having state severity increased by 1 in the amantadine group versus placebo was 1.8 (CI 1.0–3.3, [p 0.051]). On day 7, one participant was hospitalized in each group; throughout the study, this increased to five and three participants for amantadine versus placebo treatment (p 0.72). Similarly, on day 7, there was no difference in the status of oropharyngeal swabs. Most participants (108 in each group) were SARS-CoV-2 RNA positive (p 0.84). Conclusion: We found no effect of amantadine on disease progression of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Microbiology and Infection
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1313-1319
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors

    Research areas

  • Amantadine, Clinical trial, COVID-19, Drug repurposing, Ion channels, Randomized, Viroporins

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