Efficacy and Safety of Andrographis Paniculata Extract in Patients with Mild COVID-19: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Author(s): Kulthanit Wanaratna, Pornvimol Leethong, Nitapha Inchai, Wararath Chueawiang, Pantitra Sriraksa, Anutida Tabmee, Sayomporn Sirinavin

Objectives: To assess the efficacy and safety of Andrographis paniculata extract (APE) in adults with mild COVID-19.

Methods: Sixty-three adults aged 18-60 years, without co-morbidity, with laboratory-confirmed mild COVID-19, were randomized 1:1 to receive APE (60 mg andrographolide, t.i.d, for 5 days) or placebo within 24 hours after admission, plus standard supportive care. The outcomes were clinical recovery rates by Day 5 using self-assessment scores, pneumonia by chest X-rays, nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 detection by rRT-PCR on Day 5, changes of serum CRP levels, and adverse drug reactions. Chest X-rays and blood tests for CRP, liver and renal function, were performed on Days 1, 3, and 5.

Results: Baseline characteristics of patients in the APE-treatment (n=29) and placebo-control (n=28) groups were comparable. None had self-assessment scores showing complete clinical recovery by Day 5. Pneumonia occurred in 0/29 (0%) versus 3/28 (10.7%), (p=0.112). On Day 5, patients with SARS-CoV-2 detection were 10/29 (34.5%) versus 16/28 (57.1%), (p=0.086); patients with CRP >10 mg/L were 0/29 (0%) versus 5/28 (17.9%), (p=0.023), for APE-treatment and placebo-control groups, respectively. All three patients with pneumonia had substantially rising serum CRP; and high CRP levels on Day 5. None had evidence of hematologic, hepatic or renal impairment.

Conclusion: Even though the study was limited by small sample size, our findings suggested promising efficacy and safety of the APE-treatment regimen in adults with mild COVID-19. Further studies, with adequate power to assure these findings, are required.

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