Indomethacin, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), has been presented as a broad-spectrum antiviral agent. This randomised clinical trial in a hospital setting evaluated the efficacy and safety of this drug in RT-PCR-positive coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. A total of 210 RT-PCR-positive COVID-19 patients who provided consent were allotted to the control or case arm, based on block randomisation. The control arm received standard of care comprising paracetamol, ivermectin, and other adjuvant therapies. The patients in the case arm received indomethacin instead of paracetamol, with other medications retained. The primary endpoint was the development of hypoxia/desaturation with SpO2 ≤ 93, while time to become afebrile and time for cough and myalgia resolution were the secondary endpoints. The results of 210 patients were available, with 103 and 107 patients in the indomethacin and paracetamol arms, respectively. We monitored patient profiles along with everyday clinical parameters. In addition, blood chemistry at the time of admission and discharge was assessed. As no one in either of the arms required high-flow oxygen, desaturation with a SpO2 level of 93 and below was the vital goal. In the indomethacin group, none of the 103 patients developed desaturation. On the other hand, 20 of the 107 patients in the paracetamol arm developed desaturation.
Patients who received indomethacin also experienced more rapid symptomatic relief than those in the paracetamol arm, with most symptoms disappearing in half the time. In addition, 56 out of 107 in the paracetamol arm had fever on the seventh day, while no patient in the indomethacin group had fever. Neither arm reported any adverse event. The fourteenth-day follow-up revealed that the paracetamol arm patients had faced several discomforts; indomethacin arm patients mostly complained only of tiredness. Indomethacin is a safe and effective drug for treating patients with mild and moderate covid-19.