Asthma Drug May Be Used To Treat Covid In Maharashtra, Says Top Doctor

Coronavirus: The Maharashtra government’s task force is considering adding inhaled budesonide in the guidelines for patients with mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19

Asthma Drug May Be Used To Treat Covid In Maharashtra, Says Top Doctor

Inhaled budesonide may be added to a list of drugs that can be used to treat COVID-19


A medicine mainly used to treat asthma patients and those with serious respiratory problems may be added to the list of supportive treatment for COVID-19 patients in Maharashtra, a member of the state’s task force to tackle the pandemic has said.

The drug, inhaled budesonide, is likely to be added to the list of medicines that could be used to support treatment of COVID-19 patients, Dr Rahul Pandit said.

The Maharashtra government’s task force is considering adding this medicine in the guidelines for patients with mild-to-moderate symptoms.

Inhaled budesonide, in early treatment, reduces the need for urgent medical care, according to a study published by Oxford University in the journal Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

“The study was done on around 140 patients…The results were encouraging. Those who got steroid recovered faster…They also did not find any side effects,” said Dr Pandit, who is also director of critical care at Fortis Hospitals, Mumbai.

“The Maharashtra task force is considering whether to include this medicine in our list. We will take a decision soon. Implementing it won’t be much of a problem since this can be given to mild and moderate patients who don’t need hospitalisation,” he said.

The demand for remdesivir and favipiravir — the other drugs used for supportive care — has been rising in India as the country faces a deadly second wave of COVID-19. Any addition to this list of supportive medicines would likely ease the demand and give more options to people.

Remdesivir is being used for treatment of COVID-19 patients with severe complications. The government has said it must be given only to serious cases and should not be used at home.

More and more people this time are complaining of breathlessness, which needs oxygen support. However, the supply of oxygen has become severely limited due to the sudden jump in demand across cities and towns.

People have gone to social media to coordinate help, while state governments and the Centre are also working to arrange oxygen faster with the help of the private sector.

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