Since the COVID19 pandemic has started, health experts around the world have been trying to find effective treatments, which can reduce the virus load. Many promising treatment options have emerged so far and many of which are easily available in the market to treat other ailments. Budesonide is another potential treatment, which joins the list, which can be used in the form of a widely available and approved inhaler. It is usually used to treat asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Experts from NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Center (BRC) have found that the drug budesonide is effective in reducing the risk of severe COVID19 disease by 90 percent. The findings of their study are yet to be peer-reviewed. Scientists have looked at 146 participants. Half of them have been given daily doses of 800 micrograms of budesonide inhaler twice daily. The other group has been given a placebo for a period of 28 days. At the end of the study, experts have found that people who have received treatment with a budesonide inhaler have been at 90 percent reduced risk of falling severely ill due to COVID19. These people have been found to have shorter lengths of fever and fewer long-term symptoms.
A respiratory consultant at Oxford University, Mona Bafadhel has said that she has seen a persistent reduction in symptoms at 14 and 28 days after giving treatment with a budesonide inhaler. She has said that persistent symptoms after the initial COVID19 infection are considered a long-term issue and any intervention, which can help reduce these symptoms will be a groundbreaking step forward. The study is said to be inspired by an observation that very few asthma patients have been admitted to the hospitals during the early stage of the pandemic. The findings of the study confirm that the trend might have occurred due to the use of corticosteroid inhalers, which might have reduced more severe respiratory effects. If the findings of the study are validated, the discovery might be able to save many lives, said the experts. Bafadhel has said that though vaccine rollout has started around the world, which is a good thing, the vaccines will take some time to reach everyone across the world. In such a case, an approved and widely available drug such as budesonide might be able to ease the pressure; health system is facing during the pandemic. However, budesonide is not the only drug, which is able to reduce the severe effects of COVID19.
A Canadian study has shown that an anti-inflammatory gout drug called colchicine as well can reduce the rate of hospitalization and death due to the virus. However, the outcomes of this study have not been reviewed yet. Experts have said that the drug is widely available at a cheaper cost. It can be orally administered and might cause few side effects as well. As per the study, some of the patients with COVID19 who have been treated with this drug have shown fewer symptoms of pneumonia. Experts have said that Xlear nasal spray, blood thinners, and a daily dose of aspirin as well are effective in reducing the risk of severe COVID19 and its implications.