(TMU) — As New York state’s hospital system faces an unprecedented surge of sick coronavirus patients, some doctors have reportedly found success in improving their symptoms through the application of massive Vitamin C doses.
The administering of 1,500 milligrams of intravenous Vitamin C is over 16 times the recommended dietary allowance of the antioxidant, but has resulted in patients treated with the vitamin faring “significantly” better than those patients who aren’t receiving the treatment, reports the New York Post.
According to pulmonologist and critical-care specialist Dr. Andrew G. Weber, who is affiliated with two Northwell Health facilities on Long Island, intensive-care patients infected with the novel virus are immediately administered the massive dosage when they arrive in ICU. The powerful vitamin C dosage is re-administered intravenously three or four times per day, he added.
Weber explained that the inspiration for the treatment comes after doctors in Shanghai, China, also used it.
China is conducting a clinical trial of 24,000 mg/day of intravenous vitamin C for coronavirus patients. They will receive it for 7 days straight at Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University. Honor and thanks to Zhiyong Peng, MD, for making this happen. https://t.co/x9lpnmoXVm
— Yardley Wong (@yardleywong) February 12, 2020
Weber told the Post:
“The patients who received Vitamin C did significantly better than those who did not get Vitamin C.
It helps a tremendous amount, but it is not highlighted because it’s not a sexy drug.”
The Vitamin C is administered along with medicines including the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as well as the antibiotic azithromycin, various biologics and blood thinners, Weber added.
While there is no scientific research that supports the use of high doses of Vitamin C in the treatment of CoViD-19, intravenous Vitamin C has long been used by some doctors to treat cold and flu symptoms.
According to a study published in 1999, “Overall, reported flu and cold symptoms in the test group decreased 85% compared with the control group after the administration of megadose Vitamin C.”
The study concluded:
“Vitamin C in megadoses administered before or after the appearance of cold and flu symptoms relieved and prevented the symptoms in the test population compared with the control group.”
Weber said that coronavirus patients see dramatic falls in their levels of Vitamin C when they suffer sepsis, the lethal inflammatory response to CoViD-19 infection.
“It makes all the sense in the world to try and maintain this level of Vitamin C.”
Clinical trials of the treatment began February 14 at Zhongnan Hospital in Wuhan, China, where the disease rapidly emerged last December. The study is expected to run through the end of September after which study findings will be published.
On Tuesday, hospitals in New York were granted permission from federal authorities to use a mixture of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin to treat severely ill patients on the basis of “compassionate care.”
President Trump has tweeted that the cocktail has “a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine,” despite health officials urging caution about treating the drug as some panacea prior to rigorous clinical studies.
However, some experts have cautioned that the experimental intravenous treatment’s ability to fight off pneumonia remains unproven.
“Although vitamin C does have some small effect on the common cold, it’s unlikely that taking large amounts of vitamin C supplements will cure a COVID-19 infection—or have a large effect at all,” Peter McCaffery, professor of biochemistry at the University of Aberdeen, wrote in the Conversation.
Carol DerSarkissian, MD told MedicineNet:
“Your immune system does need Vitamin C to work right. But extra won’t help you avoid a cold. It may make it go away faster or not feel as bad—if you were taking it before you got sick.”