COVID-19 can cause symptoms that last weeks or months after the infection has gone, with a significant impairment of quality of life. Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is a naturally occurring lipid mediator that has an entourage effect on the endocannabinoid system mitigating the cytokine storm. The aim of this retrospective study is to evaluate the potential efficacy of PEA in the treatment of long COVID. Patients attending the Neurological Out Clinic of the IRCCS Centro Neurolesi Bonino-Pulejo (Messina, Italy) from August 2020 to September 2021 were screened for potential inclusion in the study. We included only long COVID patients who were treated with PEA 600 mg two times daily for about 3 months. All patients performed the post-COVID-19 Functional Status (PCFS) scale. Thirty-three patients (10 males, 43.5%, mean age 47.8 ± 12.4) were enrolled in the study. Patients were divided into two groups based on hospitalization or home care observation. A substantial difference in the PCFS score between the two groups at baseline and after treatment with PEA were found. We found that smoking was a risk factor with an odds ratio of 8.13 CI 95% [0.233, 1.167]. Our findings encourage the use of PEA as a potentially effective therapy in patients with long COVID.
Keywords: PEA; long COVID; persistent post-COVID syndrome; post-COVID-19 functional status scale.