A moderately cheap, inhaled asthma drug helps older individuals battling at home with Covid to recover three days quicker, according to a landmark study. A trial in individuals over 65, and over 50 with fundamental health conditions, found that inhaling budesonide twice a day for two weeks shortened their recovery time and helped them remain well and feel way better than those who were not given the drug in subsequent weeks.
Patients treated with inhaled budesonide were asked to inhale 800 micrograms twice a day for 14 days and were followed up for 28 days. The interim analysis found the middle recovery time was three days quicker for those on the drug, of which 32% of those taking it recovered inside 14 days, remained well at 28 days, and reported more noteworthy wellbeing.
Prof Richard Hobbs, who heads the university’s Nuffield department of primary care health sciences, said: ‘For the first time we have high-quality evidence of an effective treatment that can be rolled out across the community for people who are at most risk of developing more severe illness from Covid-19.
Unlike other proven medications, budesonide is effective as a treatment at home and amid the early stages of the illness. Typically a significant breakthrough for this widespread and a major accomplishment for community-based research.
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