In addition to vaccines, gradually distributed to the population, research continues to take place to find a treatment for the new coronavirus. On the side of UK, a new lead is mentioned in a study put online this Monday, February 8: budesonide, a treatment normally used against asthma.
L’study, spotted by the British daily The Guardian, is signed by researchers at the University of Oxford in England. They first noticed that people with chronic respiratory diseases were “under-represented” among Covid-19 patients. From there was born a hypothesis: inhaling glucocorticoids, anti-inflammatory drugs present in asthma inhalers, would potentially be an “effective treatment against Covid-19, at the start of the disease”.
To check, 146 healthy adults with the first symptoms of novel coronavirus were recruited. Half took budesonide twice a day until symptoms improved, the other half followed a regular procedure for Covid-19 patients, without treatment.
Among the untreated patients, ten people required hospital treatment. This was the case for only one person who received budesonide. The researchers also suggest that half of the people who took advantage of the experimental treatment recovered from their symptoms within seven days, compared to a median of eight days among those without treatment.
Despite this, for the moment, nothing is certain. The study has not yet been evaluated by other researchers, and Mona Bafadhel, one of the authors, recognizes that it is a limited sample of participants, while stressing that it was “encouraging” that five studies are currently being conducted to investigate the effects of corticosteroids, the group of hormones to which budesonide belongs.