Prescription Asthma Med Slashes COVID-19 Hospitalization
A commonly used asthma medication, AstraZeneca’s Pulmicort (budesonide), was found to significantly reduce COVID-19 symptoms if given within seven days of symptoms appearing, UK researchers have reported.
A small phase 2 study, which enrolled 146 people and split half into the experimental arm, demonstrated that patients given inhaled budesonide saw a 90 percent reduction in urgent care visits or hospitalization vs. standard care after 28 days of treatment, the researchers said.
Patients receiving budesonide also enjoyed a decrease in fever and persistent symptoms, according to the results posted on the pre-print server medRxiv.
Despite the small sample size, lead researcher Mona Bafadhel of Oxford University said she hopes the results mean “a relatively safe, widely available and well-studied medicine” like an inhaled steroid can help alleviate the burdens of COVID-19 hospital care until vaccination programs reach more people.