Inhalable asthma treatment does not reduce number of days it takes to clear COVID-19 symptoms – but does lower risk of hospital visits linked to the virus

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  • Researchers compared symptomatic COVID-19 patients with ciclesonide compared to a placebo
  • Ciclesonide is an inhalable treatment primarily used for asthma that helps reduce inflammation and swelling in the airways
  • Patients given the drug did not notice their symptoms in fewer days and recovered in the same amount of time as the placebo group
  • Those treated with the drug were 0.18 times less likely to be hospitalized for any COVID cause and 0.45 times less likely to be hospitalised.

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Reducing the number of days that COVID-19 patients experience symptoms does not help, a new study suggests.

A research team led by the University of Buffalo looked at ciclesonide, which reduced inflammation and swelling in the airways, compared to a placebo.

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They found that symptoms did not clear up more rapidly in Covid patients when they were given ciclesonide, and in fact, the disappearance of symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath and fever resulted in the same number of deaths as those given a dummy pill.

However, the team found that the treatment group was less likely to go to the emergency room or be hospitalized for reasons related to COVID-19.

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Researchers compared symptomatic COVID-19 patients to ciclesonide – an inhaled treatment used primarily for asthma that helps reduce inflammation and swelling in the airways (above – compared to a placebo) )

Patients given the drug did not notice their symptoms as evident in a shorter period of time and recovered in the same amount of time as the placebo group, but were less likely to be hospitalized.  Pictured: A doctor carries a patient in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at the University Hospital Leipzig in Germany in November 2021

Patients given the drug did not notice their symptoms as evident in a shorter period of time and recovered in the same amount of time as the placebo group, but were less likely to be hospitalized. Pictured: A doctor carries a patient in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at the University Hospital Leipzig in Germany in November 2021

Ciclesonide belongs to a class of drugs known as corticosteroids, man-made drugs that are similar to the hormone cortisol and used to treat various conditions.

It is an inhalable medicine used to prevent and reduce symptoms associated with an asthma attack.

Ciclesonide reduces inflammation and swelling of the airways in the lungs to make breathing easier, but does not stop it once an asthma attack begins.

Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, the therapy has gained attention as a safe and affordable treatment method for COVID patients who are not hospitalized.

Previous research has had mixed results with a Study Finding it didn’t reduce the time it took for symptoms to heal, but one more It was 12 times more likely in those who received the drug.

For the new study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, the team looked at 400 COVID-19 patients and 10 centers across the US between June 11, 2020, and November 20, 2020.

Half of the participants were treated with ciclesonide while the other half were given a placebo, and all had symptoms of covid.

The researchers compared how long it took for all symptoms to disappear between the two groups.

They found that there was no difference. In both cases, it took approximately 19 days for symptoms to disappear in both the treatment arm and the placebo arm.

‘No statistically significant difference was observed between participants who were treated with ciclesonide versus placebo for the primary efficacy end point,’ the authors wrote.

Next, the researchers examined the number of patients who had visited the emergency room or hospital for 30 days for reasons related to COVID-19.

Only two patients needed to go to hospital in the ciclesonide group, compared to 11 in the placebo group.

After adjusting for other factors, the team determined that the treatment group was 0.18 times less likely to go to hospital and 0.45 times less likely to be admitted to hospital.

They say there is a need to study in the future whether the treatment can be used to reduce the risk of hospitalization rather than relieve symptoms.

‘The results of this randomized clinical trial suggest that future studies of inhaled steroids are needed to explore their efficacy in patients at high risk of disease progression and reduce the incidence of long-term COVID-19 symptoms. or to reduce the subsequent consequences of SARS-CoV. -2,’ the authors wrote.

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