Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

When the US Food and Drug Administration rejected an antidepressant as a treatment for COVID-19 on Monday, it also released a 27-page memorandum explaining exactly why it wasn’t convinced the drug was effective. It’s an unusual move for the agency, which typically rejects drugs quietly without quite so much publicly available paperwork.

The antidepressant fluvoxamine is a cheap, generic drug that’s been used for decades. Research shows that the drug can also block inflammation in the body. So, some researchers hoped that it could help prevent severe symptoms in patients with COVID-19, some of whom have to cope with inflammation due to overactive immune systems.

Some small and preliminary studies showed that it might be able to reduce…

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