Developed by the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), Ministry of Ayush, AYUSH-64 was found to be useful in the treatment of asymptomatic, mild and moderate Covid-19 (Pic: Courtesy Twitter/@moayush)
With the Coronavirus pandemic raging across the country, there is a silver lining for those affected with mild and moderate Covid-19 infection. This is what was found by scientists of reputed Indian research institutions about AYUSH 64, a poly herbal formulation.
Developed by the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), Ministry of Ayush, AYUSH-64 was found to be useful in the treatment of asymptomatic, mild and moderate Covid-19 as an adjunct to standard care.
Interestingly, initially the drug was developed for malaria in the year 1980 and now is repurposed for COVID-19.
The ingredients of AYUSH 64 include Alstonia scholaris (aqueous bark extract), Picrorhiza kurroa (aqueous rhizome extract), Swertia chirata (aqueous extract of whole plant) and Caesalpinia crista (fine-powdered seed pulp). An extensively studied, scientifically developed, safe and effective Ayurveda formulation, it is also recommended in National Clinical Management Protocol based on Ayurveda and Yoga which is vetted by National Task Force on COVID-19 Management of ICMR.
Recently a robust multi-centre clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of AYUSH 64 in the management of mild to moderate Covid-19 patients was conducted by the Ministry of Ayush-Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) collaboration.
Elaborating about the trial, Dr Arvind Chopra, Director, Centre for Rheumatic Diseases, Pune and honorary chief clinical coordinator of the Ministry of Ayush-CSIR collaboration said that the trial was conducted at three centres. KGMU, Lucknow; DMIMS, Wardha and BMC COVID Centre, Mumbai involving 70 participants in each arm.
He stated that AYUSH 64 as an adjunct to standard of care (SoC) showed significant improvement and thus lesser period of hospitalization as compared to SoC alone.
Besides this, he shared that several significant beneficial effects of AYUSH 64 on general health, fatigue, anxiety, stress, appetite, general happiness and sleep were also observed.
Dr. Chopra concluded that this controlled drug trial study has provided substantial evidence that AYUSH 64 can be effectively and safely used to treat mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 as adjuvant to SoC. He went on to add that those patients on AYUSH-64 will still require monitoring so as to identify any worsening of the disease requiring more intensive therapy with oxygen and other treatment measures provided during hospitalization.
Stating that the results of the AYUSH-64 were encouraging, Dr. Bhushan Patwardhan, National Research Professor, Ayush and Chairman of the Inter-disciplinary Ayush Research and Development Task Force on COVID-19 said in the current crisis situations needy patients should be able to get benefits of Ayush 64.
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Dr. Patwardhan underlined that this multi-centre trial was monitored by Ayush-CSIR Joint Monitoring Committee (MC) under the chairmanship of Dr. V M Katoch, former Secretary, Department of Health Research and former Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research (DG, ICMR). Adding weightage to this study was the fact that these clinical studies were periodically reviewed by an independent Data and Safety Management Board (DSMB).
Dr. Katoch, Chairman of the MC informed that the committee had carefully reviewed the outcome of the AYUSH 64 study and recommended AYUSH 64 in the management of asymptomatic, mild to moderate COVID-19. The committee has also recommended the Ministry to communicate to the state licensing authorities/regulators regarding adding new indication of AYUSH 64 for repurposing in the management of mild to moderate COVID-19.
The Director General of CCRAS, Dr. N. Srikanth, shared that additional studies on AYUSH 64 were underway at reputed research institutes including CSIR-IIIM, DBT-THSTI, ICMR-NIN, AIIMS Jodhpur and medical colleges including Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh; King George's Medical University, Lucknow; Government Medical College, Nagpur; Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences, Nagpur.
The results received so far have shown the usefulness of AYUSH 64 in dealing with mild and moderate COVID-19. The outcome of the seven clinical studies he said has revealed that AYUSH 64 exhibits early clinical recovery in COVID-19 cases without further progression.
Also in all clinical studies, AYUSH 64 was found to be well tolerated and found clinically safe.