The Role of Vitamin C as Adjuvant Therapy in COVID-19

Cureus. 2020 Nov 30;12(11):e11779. doi: 10.7759/cureus.11779.


Background and objective The anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin C (VC) and the promising results it has shown in the treatment for common cold have prompted clinicians to use it as adjuvant therapy in the treatment of COVID-19. The purpose of this study was to find out the role of VC as adjunctive therapy in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Methodology This study was conducted from March to July 2020 in the COVID-19 unit of a tertiary care hospital in Karachi. In this randomized controlled trial (RCT), one group received the intervention [50 mg/kg/day of intravenous (IV) VC] along with the standard therapy, and the other group received standard therapy only. Data such as age, gender, vitals, and biochemical values as well as outcomes including the number of days required for treatment, hospital stay, need for ventilation, and mortality were compared between the two groups and recorded using a self-structured questionnaire. Results COVID-19 patients who received IV VC became symptom-free earlier (7.1 ± 1.8 vs. 9.6 ± 2.1 days, p-value: <0.0001) and spent fewer days in the hospital (8.1 ± 1.8 vs. 10.7 ± 2.2 days, p-value: <0.0001) compared to those who received standard therapy only. However, there was no significant difference in the need for mechanical ventilation (p-value: 0.406) and mortality (p-value: 0.31) between the two groups. Conclusion VC can significantly improve clinical symptoms in patients affected with COVID-19; however, it had no impact on mortality and the need for mechanical ventilation. More large-scale studies are required to further assess the role of VC in the treatment of COVID-19.

Keywords: covid-19; intravenous vitamin c; pakistan.