A steroid drug in inhalers is going to be tested in a key trial, which aims to find drugs that might prevent COVID19 infection in highly susceptible people, which can lead to a serious condition of hospitalization. This drug is called budesonide, which will be tested in the Principal trial. This is the fourth therapeutic drug, which has been included in this new trial. Antibiotics such as azithromycin and doxycycline as well are being tested in the clinical testing. As per the reports, Hydroxychloroquine, which has been endorsed by the former US President Donald Trump has been a part of this trial, however, after a string of controversies around the drug, it has been suspended in May. Experts have assured that budesonide does not have any side effects linked to short-term use. It is easy to develop and is available at a reasonable cost.
The objective of the Principal trial is to develop a treatment, which can be taken during the early stage of the infection. Experts are trying to find a treatment, which can prevent the severity of the infection. This trial is being led by the University of Oxford. The UK government along with the Department of Health and Social care has funded the trial. Experts have included around 2000 participants and still looking for more people to take part in the trial. People who are above 50 years with some underlying health issues and have some symptoms of the COVID19 such as cough, fever, or loss of smell can participate in the trial. People who are in the age range of 50 to 64 years need to have health conditions such as weak immune system due to severe illness or some medications like chemotherapy, heart issues or high blood pressure, asthma or lung disease, diabetes, liver disease, stroke, neurological issues or obesity to participate in the trial.
As per the reports, each participant will receive either one of the drugs or will be kept in a control group and be given standard care. Participants who will be assigned budesonide will be given an inhaler. They need to take two puffs twice a day for two weeks. Each puff will have a dose of 400 micrograms of the drug. The lead author of the Principal trial Dr. Chris Butler has said that budesonide is simple to administer for respiratory issues, which might be effective in treating COVID19. He has said that they need more volunteers to join in the Principal trial to keep vulnerable people out of the hospital. Such treatments as well are important to lessen the burden of the disease on society like vaccines and preventive measures, said the expert. Scientists hope that budesonide will be able to reduce the rate of severe COVID19 infection as a similar drug called corticosteroids has been proven to be effective in reducing the amount of ACE2 receptors on the surface of the cells in the human airways.