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Inhaled Budesonide in the Treatment of Early COVID-19 Illness: A Randomised Controlled Trial
25 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2021More...
Background: Multiple early hospital cohorts of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) showed that patients with chronic respiratory disease were significantly under-represented. We hypothesised that the widespread use of inhaled glucocorticoids was responsible for this finding and tested if inhaled glucorticoids would be an effective treatment for early COVID-19 illness.
Methods: We conducted a randomised, open label trial of inhaled budesonide, compared to usual care, in adults within 7 days of the onset of mild Covid-19 symptoms. The primary end point was COVID-19-related urgent care visit, emergency department assessment or hospitalisation. The trial was stopped early after independent statistical review concluded that study outcome would not change with further participant enrolment.
Results: 146 patients underwent randomisation. For the per protocol population (n=139), the primary outcome occurred in 10 participants and 1 participant in the usual care and budesonide arms respectively (difference in proportion 0.131, p=0.004). The number needed to treat with inhaled budesonide to reduce COVID-19 deterioration was 8. Clinical recovery was 1 day shorter in the budesonide arm compared to the usual care arm (median of 7 days versus 8 days respectively, logrank test p=0.007). Proportion of days with a fever and proportion of participants with at least 1 day of fever was lower in the budesonide arm. Fewer participants randomised to budesonide had persistent symptoms at day 14 and day 28 compared to participants receiving usual care.
Conclusion: Early administration of inhaled budesonide reduced the likelihood of needing urgent medical care and reduced time to recovery following early COVID-19 infection.
Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04416399
Funding: Oxford NIHR Biomedical Research Centre and AstraZeneca
Declaration of Interests: Dr. Ramakrishnan reports grants and non-financial support from Oxford Respiratory NIHR BRC, during the conduct of the study; non-financial support from AstraZeneca, personal fees from Australian Government Research Training Program, outside the submitted work; . Dr. Nicolau has nothing to disclose. Mrs Langford has nothing to disclose. Mr. Mahdi has nothing to disclose. Mrs Helen Jeffers reports personal fees from AstraZeneca, outside the submitted work; . Miss Mwasuku has nothing to disclose. Mrs Krassowska has nothing to disclose. Dr Fox has nothing to disclose. Dr Binnian has nothing to disclose. Dr Glover has nothing to disclose. Dr Bright has nothing to disclose. Dr. Butler reports grants from National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Roche Molecular Diagnostics, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and various public funding bodies for research related to diagnostics and infections. He has revcied personal fees from Pfizer INC, Roche Diagnostics, and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, outside the submitted work. Dr. Cane has nothing to disclose. Mr. Halner has nothing to disclose. Dr. Matthews has nothing to disclose. Dr. Donnelly reports grants from AstraZeneca, from Boehringer-Ingelheim, outside the submitted work; . Dr. Simpson has nothing to disclose. Dr Baker has nothing to disclose. Dr. Fadai has nothing to disclose. Dr. Peterson reports personal fees from AstraZeneca, outside the submitted work; . Mr. Bengtsson reports personal fees from AstraZeneca, outside the submitted work; Dr. Barnes reports grants and personal fees from AstraZeneca, grants and personal fees from Boehringer Ingelheim, personal fees from Teva, personal fees from Covis, during the conduct of the study; Dr. Russell reports grants from AstraZeneca, personal fees from Boehringer Ingelheim, personal fees from Chiesi UK, personal fees from Glaxo-SmithKline, during the conduct of the study; . Dr. Bafadhel reports grants from AstraZeneca, personal fees from AstraZeneca, Chiesi, GSK, other from Albus Health, ProAxsis, outside the submitted work; .
Ethics Approval Statement: The trial was sponsored by the University of Oxford, and was approved by the Fulham London Research Ethics Committee (20/HRA/2531) and the National Health Research Authority.The ethical approval number is 20/HRA/2531.
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