ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine are recruiting COVID-19 patients for a clinical trial that will examine whether an existing anti-depressant can be an effective treatment for COVID-19.

Caline Mattar, MD is an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Disease and a co-investigator on the study.

"Pretty much anybody that's been tested positive for COVID-19 but folks who are at home but not anybody in the hospital," said Mattar.

The study will look at the anti-depressant fluvoxamine, which goes by the brand name of Luvox. It's currently used to treat people with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

According to Mattar the body's reaction to the coronavirus comes in two phases. In the first, she says, the virus rapidly reproduces but the symptoms are mild. The study will focus on whether fluvoxamine can blunt the body's overwhelming immune response, which Mattar said, comes in the second phase for some patients.

"This is what we have been seeing. It's making people very sick, requiring them to be in the hospital, sometimes in the intensive care unit," she said.

According to Mattar, fluvoxamine has been proven to bind to a certain place on immune cells to regulate the body's response to an infection.

Researchers are looking for as many participants as they can get. To sign up you can call 314-747-1137. You can learn more information on the clinical trial by clicking here.

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