Study Shows How Steroid Nasal Sprays May Impact COVID-19

A recent Cleveland Clinic study found that patients who regularly use steroid nasal sprays are less likely to develop severe COVID-19-related disease. One of the lead authors explains why that is.

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CLEVELAND – A Cleveland Clinic study found that patients who regularly use steroid nasal sprays are less likely to develop a severe case of COVID-19. It also reduced their risk for hospitalization, ICU admission and death.

“This does not mean that people should use nasal sprays to treat COVID-19 or to prevent COVID-19. You need a randomized control trial to do that and an approval by the FDA, so until then, it is not indicated to treat COVID-19,” explained Joe Zein, MD, pulmonologist for Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Zein authored the study and said they found patients who used intranasal corticosteroids prior to COVID-19 illness were 22% less likely to be hospitalized, 23% less likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit, and 24% less likely to die from COVID-19 during hospitalization.

Dr. Zein said since the nose is the main entry point for the virus, it’s important to wear your mask properly.

“Many people you see wearing a mask don’t have their nose covered. The nose is the most important part and they need to cover it. Otherwise, there is no point in using a mask,” he said.

Dr. Zein said they are still trying to understand why the nasal sprays seem to help reduce severity of disease. However, it appears they decrease the ACE2 receptors in the nose, making it harder for the virus to enter cells and spread.

The study was published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.

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