(Reuters) – The National Institutes of Health (NIH) on Wednesday launched a study to evaluate drugs prescribed to treat COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus, among children and adolescents across the United States.

The medical research center said researchers will investigate bit.ly/30vqgJE several treatments, including antiviral and anti-inflammatory drugs, and will leverage an existing clinical trial examining off-label drugs prescribed to them for various other medical conditions.

NIH, a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said the study will analyze drug dosage and safety for special populations, including premature infants, critically ill children, children with down syndrome and obese children.

Researchers will also collect information on potential side effects and patient outcomes such as the duration and type of respiratory support needed and length of hospital stay.

The study is not a clinical trial and will analyze blood samples to assess how drugs move through the bodies of children under 21 years of age, NIH said, adding that the study will not evaluate the best treatment for COVID-19.


Reporting by Trisha Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel

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