Currently, no effective treatment of comorbid complications or COVID-19 long-haulers during convalescence is known. This randomized, quadruple-blind, placebo-controlled trial aimed to assess the efficacy of adaptogens on the recovery of patients with Long COVID symptoms. One hundred patients with confirmed positive SARS-CoV-2 test, discharged from COVID Hotel isolation, Intensive Care Unit (ICU), or Online Clinics, and who experienced at least three of nine Long COVID symptoms (fatigue, headache, respiratory insufficiency, cognitive performance, mood disorders, loss of smell, taste, and hair, sweatiness, cough, pain in joints, muscles, and chest) in the 30 days before randomization were included in the study of the efficacy of Chisan®/ADAPT-232 (a fixed combination of adaptogens Rhodiola, Eleutherococcus, and Schisandra) supplementation for two weeks. Chisan® decreased the duration of fatigue and pain for one and two days, respectively, in 50% of patients. The number of patients with lack of fatigue and pain symptoms was significantly less in the Chisan® treatment group than in the placebo group on Days 9 (39% vs. 57%, pain relief, p = 0.0019) and 11 (28% vs. 43%, relief of fatigue, * p = 0.0157). Significant relief of severity of all Long COVID symptoms over the time of treatment and the follow-up period was observed in both groups of patients, notably decreasing the level of anxiety and depression from mild and moderate to normal, as well as increasing cognitive performance in patients in the d2 test for attention and increasing their physical activity and workout (daily walk time). However, the significant difference between placebo and Chisan® treatment was observed only with a workout (daily walk time) and relieving respiratory insufficiency (cough). A clinical assessment of blood markers of the inflammatory response (C-reactive protein) and blood coagulation (D-dimer) did not reveal any significant difference over time between treatment groups except significantly lower IL-6 in the Chisan® treatment group. Furthermore, a significant difference between the placebo and Chisan® treatment was observed for creatinine: Chisan® significantly decreased blood creatinine compared to the placebo, suggesting prevention of renal failure progression in Long COVID. In this study, we, for the first time, demonstrate that adaptogens can increase physical performance in Long COVID and reduce the duration of fatigue and chronic pain. It also suggests that Chisan®/ADAPT-232 might be useful for preventing the progression of renal failure associated with increasing creatinine.
Keywords: C-reactive protein; Chisan®/ADAPT-232; D-dimer; IL-6; adaptogens; clinical trial; creatinine; long COVID-19 symptoms; physical performance.