Seriously ill coronavirus patients at New York area hospitals are being treated with massive doses of vitamin C.
Dr. Andrew Weber, a pulmonologist and critical-care specialist with Northwell Health, has been administering 1,500 milligrams of intravenous vitamin C to his COVID-19 patients in intensive care.
The patients are then given the dosage three or four more times throughout the day, Weber told the New York Post.
To put it into perspective, each dose is more than 16 times the daily recommended dietary allowance of vitamin C. According to the National Institutes of Health, adult men should receive 90 milligrams, while adult women are advised to get 75 milligrams.
Weber disclosed the regimen was enacted based on reports of promising results after the experimental treatments were used on coronavirus patients in Shanghai, China.
“The patients who received vitamin C did significantly better than those who did not get vitamin C,” Weber said. “It helps a tremendous amount, but it is not highlighted because it’s not a sexy drug.”
Jason Molinet, a spokesman for Northwell Health, confirmed that vitamin C is being “widely used” as a coronavirus treatment, but said the exact dosage varied from patient to patient, reported the outlet.
With 23 hospitals, Northwell Health is New York State's largest healthcare provider.
Northwell has approximately 700 coronavirus patients across their system, but it’s unclear exactly how many are currently receiving the vitamin C regimen.
While there are no FDA-approved drugs to treat COVID-19, the federal government is now allowing New York State to experiment with the malaria and lupus drug hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic Zithromax, according to NBC News.
The implementation of the experimental drugs comes as New York has quickly tranformed into an epicenter for the virus in the United States, with over 25,000 positive cases across the state.