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Asthma treatment shortens Covid-19 recovery time

Researchers at Oxford University have discovered that an easily accessible asthma treatment can help speed up Covid-19 recovery times, by up to three days.

The treatment is inhaled budesonide, which is a common drug used in the treatment of asthma, and has been shown to reduce the recovery time from Covid-19 for those not hospitalized. While the UK has not recommended the treatment as a standard care procedure, it can now be prescribed to patients on a case by case basis.

The trial is so far the world’s largest randomized, controlled clinical trial (Phase III) to find a treatment that significantly shortened recovery time from the virus. What’s more, all of the participants who received the treatment and were not in the control group were over 65, or over 50 with an underlying health condition.

The drug is administered with two puffs a day for twenty eight days. A third of the patients taking the treatment recovered within two weeks at home, compared with less than a quarter of the patients who managed the same without the asthma drug.

The treatment group also reported better wellbeing after two weeks than those who followed usual care.

The drug prevents difficulty breathing, tightness of the chest, wheezing, and coughing that would be associated with asthma or Covid-19. This comes at a time when the current guidance for treating Covid-19 at home is very limited beyond over the counter medications for pain. Further results from the trial will be published at the end of the month.

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