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Asthma Medicine Hailed as Effective Treatment for COVID-19

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 13 Jul 2020
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Image: Asthma Medicine Hailed as Effective Treatment for COVID-19 (Photo courtesy of Queensland University of Technology).
Image: Asthma Medicine Hailed as Effective Treatment for COVID-19 (Photo courtesy of Queensland University of Technology).
Budesonide, a medicine used to help prevent the symptoms of asthma, is being touted as the “silver bullet” for COVID-19.

Budesonide, a corticosteroid or steroid, reduces the severity of asthma attack by preventing inflammation in the lungs and can be inhaled directly to the lungs using a nebulizer. Daily use of inhaled budesonide reduces the number and severity of asthma attacks, although it cannot provide relief from an asthma attack that is already underway. Dr. Richard Bartlett, a US doctor, believes that budesonide, otherwise known as the brand name Pulmicor, can successfully treat the coronavirus. Dr. Bartlett claims to have used inhaled, generic budesonide to cure several COVID-19 patients who have vouched for his treatment.

Now, researchers from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT Brisbane, Australia) and the University of Oxford (Oxford, UK) are collaborating to test common asthma inhalers as a treatment for COVID-19 infection. The STOIC (STerOids In COVID-19) trial will look at whether asthma inhalers given to people with early stage COVID-19 can reduce progression of respiratory illness and cut emergency department presentations and hospital admissions. Some patients will be given budesonide, while others will be given a placebo. Recruitment for the trial has begun and the researchers will be coordinating trial data analysis, modelling of pathological mechanisms and building COVID-19 maths models to explain and use the clinical trial data to optimize patient treatment. Mathematical modelling by the STOIC study team suggests that the earlier the inhaled steroid treatment is applied, the more people can be stopped from becoming sick.

“Ideally it may be that the corticosteroid therapy would be given to anyone with a new, dry cough, and while they are awaiting their COVID test results,” said associate Professor Nicolau, from the QUT Science and Engineering Faculty School of Mathematical Sciences.

Related Links:
Queensland University of Technology
University of Oxford


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