Researchers say they've Found Two Effective Treatments for COVID-19

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A team of researchers from the Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) and Toronto's University Health Network (UHN) believe they've found effective treatments for COVID-19.

Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif led a double-blind study in Quebec using colchicine to treat COVID-19 symptoms resulting in what he's calling a, "major scientific discovery."

Colchicine is used to treat several diseases and the oral tablet is the first "effective oral drug to treat out-of-hospital patients," according to Dr. Tardif.

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Blister packs of the oral drug Colchicine (Photo via iStock/Fahroni)

He goes on to say prescribing the drug could help reduce congestion in hospitals quickly and reduce health-care costs.

That's after researchers found colchicine reduced COVID-19 hospitalizations by 25 per cent and the need for ventilators by 50 per cent — the death rate amongst the 4,159 patients in the study also decreased by 44 per cent.

The randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study was deployed in Canada, the United States, Europe, South America and South Africa.

Doctor Tardif says that means, "neither the patient, nor the team that ran the study ... knew whether the patient was taking the placebo or the drug."

He says the MHI coordinated the study and was the only group aware of who was receiving colchicine.

The news comes at the same time as a revelation at Toronto's UHN showing the intravenous drug heparin as an effective treatment.

According to the study, clinical trials held across five continents in more than 300 hospitals suggest a full dose of the blood thinner could prevent cases from needing intensive care.

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(Photo via iStock/Bernard Chantal)

The study involved more than 1,300 moderately ill patients admitted to hospital.

Researchers say full doses of heparin improved outcomes and decreased the need for life support.

According to the study, a full dose is what's given to people who have a blood clot to prevent hospitalization.

— with files from CTV News and The Canadian Press.