Massive doses of vitamin C are being offered to chronically ill coronavirus patients in New York State’s largest healthcare system— based on positive evidence that it has benefited people in hard-hit China.
Dr Andrew G. Weber, a pulmonologist and critical care physician associated with two Northwell Health hospitals on Long Island, said he promptly provides 1,500 milligrams of intravenous vitamin C from his intensive care patients with coronavirus.
Instead, he added, similar doses of the potent antioxidant are re-administered three or four times a day.
Almost every dose is more than 16 times the recommended daily allowance dietary allowance for vitamin C from the National Institutes of Health, which is just 90 milligrams for adult men and 75 milligrams for adult women.
Weber said that the protocol is based on existing therapies conducted in Shanghai, China to people with coronavirus,
He further added that, “Patients consuming vitamin C have fared far better than those not consuming vitamin C, as it helps so much, but it’s not emphasized because it’s not a sexy product.”
A Northwell spokesman— who runs 23 hospitals, along with Lenox Hill Hospital on the Upper East Side of Manhattan — said that vitamin C was being “widely used” throughout the program as a coronavirus cure, but added that the procedures for prescription differed from patient to patient.
“As determined by the clinician,” said spokesman Jason Molinet.
Approximately 700 patients are being screened for coronavirus in the hospital network, Molinet said, but who else is getting the medication for vitamin C is still not known.
Including medicines such as anti-malaria medication hydroxychloroquine, antibiotic azithromycin, various biologics, and blood thinners, vitamin C is prescribed, Weber stated.
He further said that the levels of vitamin C in patients with coronavirus decrease significantly as they recover from sepsis, an inflammatory reaction that develops as their bodies react negatively to the infection.
“To seek to preserve this amount of vitamin C in the environment makes little sense,” he added.
A clinical study on the efficacy of intravenous vitamin C in patients with coronavirus at Zhongnan Hospital in Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the pandemic, started on 14 Feb.
According to reports on the website of the US National Library of Medicine, this is planned to be finished by the end of September.