AYUSH-64, a drug developed to cure malaria in 1980, may be useful for treating asymptomatic, mild and moderate cases of COVID-19 infection, the AYUSH ministry said Thursday.

The Central Ayurvedic Science Research Council (CCRAS) recently concluded clinical trials of the drug focused on the management of asymptomatic, mild to moderate COVID-19, in collaboration with the Scientific and Industrial Research Council (CSIR) and d other research organizations and medical colleges across the country.

“Tests have shown that AYUSH 64 has notable antiviral, immunomodulatory and antipyretic properties. It is useful in the treatment of asymptomatic, mild and moderate infection with COVID-19. Therefore, the drug is now being reused. for COVID-19, “a government statement said.

Speaking to a virtual press conference, Arvind Chopra, director of the Center for Rheumatic Diseases in Pune, said that the drug’s trial in this direction had been carried out at three centers.

The trial at King George’s Medical University (KGMU), Lucknow; Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences (DMIMS), Wardha; and BMC COVID Center, Mumbai, involved 70 participants in each arm.

He said that several important beneficial effects of the drug on general health, fatigue, anxiety, stress, appetite, general happiness and sleep have also been observed.

The drug’s trial study provided substantial evidence that AYUSH-64 can be used effectively and safely to treat mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 as an adjuvant to SoC, he said.

He also added that patients on AYUSH 64 will always require monitoring to identify any worsening of the disease requiring more intensive therapy with oxygen and other treatment measures provided during hospitalization.

“AYUSH 64 includes Alstonia scholaris (aqueous bark extract), Picrorhiza kurroa (aqueous rhizome extract), Swertia chirata (aqueous whole plant extract) and Caesalpinia crista (fine powdered seed pulp),” the release said.

“It is a widely researched, scientifically developed, safe and effective Ayurvedic formulation. This drug is also recommended in the National Ayurveda and Yoga Based Clinical Management Protocol which is approved by the ICMR National COVID-19 Management Working Group, ”he said.