Steroid nasal sprays reduce COVID-related poor outcomes, study suggests


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Despite the findings, the spray should not be used to prevent or treat COVID-19, the health system said

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The Cleveland Clinic announced Tuesday that routine use of steroid nasal spray protects COVID-19 patients against virus-related hospitalizations, ICU admissions and death. However, the findings do not suggest the spray as a COVID-19 treatment and further findings are needed to confirm the results, the health system said.

study, funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, stemming from more than 70,000 COVID-19 patients aged 18 and older in the Cleveland Clinic health system from April 2020 to March 2021. Of the group, 17.5% were hospitalised, 4.1% were admitted to ICU and 2.6% died in hospital. Just over 14% of patients were taking a steroid nasal spray, also known as intranasal corticosteroids (INCS), prior to infection.


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The researchers excluded patients who received INCS prescriptions before 2018, as well as pregnant women, missing hospitalization data, and others.

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Patients who received the spray prior to COVID-19 illness faced a 22% lower chance of virus-related hospitalization, a 23% lower ICU hospitalization, and a 24% lower risk of COVID-related hospital death, versus patients who did not take steroid nasal sprays. For a release from the Cleveland Clinic.

“The study’s findings encourage patients who use intranasal corticosteroids to continue to do so as needed, and do not suggest that intranasal corticosteroids can be used in any way to treat or prevent COVID-19.” should be done for,” the release read. “The theory behind the study, which was based on reports that in vitro (in the lab) intranasal corticosteroids reduced the protein receptor ACE2, allowing the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is responsible for COVID-19 to enter cells. and cause the spread of disease.”

Steroid nasal sprays are meant to relieve irritation, allergies and stuffy nose and can be prescribed or purchased over the counter.

“This study demonstrates the importance of the nose in COVID-19 infection,” Cleveland Clinic pulmonologist Dr. Joe Zinn said in a statement. “The nose, in this example, is the gateway to our body, through which the virus can enter and replicate within. The use of intranasal corticosteroids can help to obstruct that gateway.”

Dr. Ronald Strauss, allergist-immunologist and director of the Cleveland Allergy and Asthma Center, said: “Our findings are particularly important, as COVID-19 hospitalizations, ICU admissions and mortality rates are limited by health care resources. worldwide, especially in developing countries where vaccines have limited access and where mutations in SARS-CoV-2 have been reported.”

The Health System noted that future studies are needed to confirm the findings, and the study authors specifically called for randomized control trials to determine whether steroid nasal sprays were associated with severe COVID-related symptoms. Whether or not to cut the risk of consequences.

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