Inhaled Corticosteroid Budesonide COVID Treatment

Inhaled Budesonide | COVID-19 Treatment:

Inhaled corticosteroids, such as Budesonide, are a relatively new proposed treatment for COVID-19 and reportedly physicians are seeing some success.  Inhaled corticosteroids are commonly used in respiratory disorders, such as asthma, and act to decrease inflammation in the lungs.  As I understand it at current, in the case of COVID-19, inhaled corticosteroids, such as Budesonide, can decrease inflammation and potentially help combat the “cytokine storm” caused by the disorder.  

The studies are pending and there are undoubtedly some nay-sayers against using inhaled corticosteroid Budesonide for COVID-19 treatment.  However, several physicians are already having great anecdotal success in the treatment of COVID patients in ER’s, hospitals, and in the general medical community.  One physician in Texas is working on getting a scientific paper published, based on his experience with the medication in his patients, and has passed his findings onto the local and national government to notify them of its successful effects in treatment (I can provide more information on this specific aspect if requested).  

Some additional keys for physicians and patients to consider would be to try and use this medication early in the disease process.  The goal is early detection of the virus and early use of the medication to prevent worsening of symptoms and disease process. The medication can certainly be used late in the disease process or in severe cases, such as ICU, but early use would be ideal. The inhaled form is recommended instead of the oral/systemic steroids. Budesonide is localized to the lungs and treats the disease process directly and with typically less side effects. Budesonide and other inhaled corticosteroids are relatively affordable, especially when using most insurances to purchase the medication at the pharmacy.

Another thing to be aware of is that the use of nebulizers in general for the administration of inhaled medications has a potential risk for aerosolization of viral particles. Therefore, proper use of PPE and a negative pressure room for administering the medication would be ideal. Although, these precautions are not always readily available, especially in an outpatient setting, then Meter-dosed inhalers (MDI’s) can be used to mitigate the risk of aerosolization of the viral particles. However, be aware that MDI’s are reportedly not as efficacious as the nebulized form. As with any medication use, the risks, benefits, and alternatives should be considered prior to administration.

When prescribing the inhaled corticosteroids, such as Budesonide, for COVID-19 treatment, physicians should also consider prescribing an antibiotic to cover potential secondary bacterial infections, such as pneumonia.  Antibiotic considerations may include, but not limited to, Azithromycin (Z-Pak), Clarithromycin, or Levaquin.  To be clear, COVID is a virus, as most people are now aware.  Viruses don’t respond to antibiotics, although bacteria do respond to them typically.  In the case of COVID, patients’ immune systems are lowered by the virus and their lungs are damaged and at risk for developing secondary bacterial infections.  In these cases, the antibiotics may be deemed appropriate or useful.  Additionally, some physicians are recommending supplementation with zinc for treatment of the disease process as well.  Zinc is thought to have immune-boosting properties and is often used for the treatment of viruses in general.  Although, to be clear, some physicians do not ascribe to this zinc supplementation approach.    

Doctor Online Oklahoma can help by answering any questions you may have about this medication, topic, or any other general inquiries.  We can also help by doing Online Doctor Visits/Online Urgent Care appointments to evaluate for this condition and consider prescribing these medications if deemed appropriate by the consulting physician.  To schedule an online doctor appointment, please visit our Schedule page.  To contact us please see our Contact page.  Additional information about the medication Inhaled Budesonide can be found in this article.  

Disclaimer: Lastly, this is meant to be an informing and helpful post about this potential new treatment of COVID, but certainly isn’t all inclusive and the final say on this topic.  The scientific papers and studies are still pending, and this is an ongoing topic.  Additionally, we recommend you discuss these potential treatment options further with your primary care physician or the physician(s) in charge of your care, but again we are available to help with further discussion, as stated above.  Let us know your thoughts on this post about Inhaled Budesonide | COVID-19 Treatment or other thoughts in the comments section below!

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