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Can Crystal Meth Cure the Flu?

The Flu

A new study that was published online in the journal PLoS ONE on Nov 6 finds that the drug methamphetamine may have certain qualities that help fight the flu virus, reports Business Insider.

I know what you are thinking and the answer is no, no one is suggesting that you take meth to fight off the flu this winter season. Meth is far more damaging to the body than worth using to prevent the flu, but scientists are aiming at using the study to find safer compounds that have the same effect.

Previous research has suggested that using meth makes individuals more susceptible to pathogens such as HIV, so a group of scientists at the National Health Research Institutes in Taiwan wanted to find out how the drug reacts with the influenza A virus. Instead of finding that it makes people more susceptible to the flu, it helps prevent it. 30 to 48 hours after the experiment, meth-treated cells had a much lower concentration of the virus than the non-meth-treated cells.

“We report the first evidence that meth significantly reduces, rather than increases, virus propagation and the susceptibility to influenza infection in the human lung epithelial cell line,” wrote the researchers, led by Yun-Hsiang Chen. “This finding strongly encourages future work to investigate whether other compounds, structurally similar to meth, can inhibit influenza A virus production and be used to prevent or alleviate influenza A virus infection.”

Meth may seem like it aids the prevention of the flu virus, but please, do not use this as an excuse to use the harmful drug.

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