Scientists in New York focused on popular heartburn drug for treatment of COVID-19

The treatment in question is called famotidine, and it's the active ingredient in Pepcid, an over-the-counter medication commonly used to alleviate heartburn.
1:45 | 04/27/20

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:

{{nextVideo.title}}

{{nextVideo.description}}

Skip to this video now

Now Playing:

{{currentVideo.title}}

Comments
Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Scientists in New York focused on popular heartburn drug for treatment of COVID-19
been processed, and is helping three people. I'm scheduling another donation in three weeks. Kaylee, thank you. There is also talk about whether a common heartburn drug could help. Looking at whether pepcid could the potential science, and the extreme caution. Here's Eva pilgrim. Reporter: Tonight, the search for a treatment. Scientists in New York now focused on a popular heartburn drug, famotidine, the active ingredient in pepcid. We're not using conventional what we call pepcid or over-the-counter reflux doses. We're using much larger doses. Reporter: Doctors at northwell health are giving the drug intravenously to some patients in the study. Coupled with hydroxychloroquine, that controversial anti-malaria drug. Until now, they have been very discreet about the research. Were you worried if word got out that you were doing the study, there'd be a run on pepcid in pharmacies? Well, I think that's a definite real possibility. Reporter: The study started after doctors in China noticed that patients who just happened to be taking famotidine for heartburn fared better in their fight against covid-19. The basic theory, famotidine may help slow down the virus. They think it could latch onto the drug, limiting its ability to spread through the body. Famotidine might be very effective as an antiviral agent. Reporter: The study has about 180 people, but they're hoping to have about 1,200. While this drug is considered to be generally safe, researchers say you should not go out and buy the drug for home treatment of the virus. They don't know yet if it works. Eva, thank you. And we continue to follow the food. The farmers forced to discard

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"1:45","description":"The treatment in question is called famotidine, and it's the active ingredient in Pepcid, an over-the-counter medication commonly used to alleviate heartburn.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/WNT","id":"70372388","title":"Scientists in New York focused on popular heartburn drug for treatment of COVID-19","url":"/WNT/video/scientists-york-focused-popular-heartburn-drug-treatment-covid-70372388"}