'It works:' Doctor touts steroid for COVID-19

Tuesday, July 14, 2020
 | 
Billy Davis, Steve Jordahl (OneNewsNow.com)

coronavirus rubber gloveAnother potential cure for COVID-19 is being noticed by medical professionals and a Texas doctor says it works if taken quickly.

Dr. Richard Bartlett is touting an inhaled steroid that reduces inflammation in the lungs. Budesonide has been used to treat asthma for years, and the doctor calls it a “silver bullet” for treating the virus.

“It works. One-hundred percent of my patients are alive,” he tells OneNewsNow. “I've been treating this since March. You use it for five minutes; it takes five minutes to do a breathing treatment.”

COVID-19 has infected more than 11 million people worldwide, sending many of its victims – especially the elderly -- to a hospital bed with lungs that are drowning from pneumonia-like symptoms.  

According to the website News Medical, researchers in the United Kingdom have begun clinical trials on what is known as corticosteroids to fight the virus, since the medicine can reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract.  One reason researchers are optimistic, the news story explained, is that asthmatic people who were assumed to be in grave danger from COVID-19 are actually at less risk, especially in early stages.

“One explanation for the low numbers,” Dan Nicolau, a lead researcher, told the website, “was that something these people were doing regularly was protecting them and that, logically, was that they routinely used inhalers for their chronic lung problems.”

“It's super cheap. It's about $200 for the total treatment if you pay cash,” Dr. Bartlett advises. “With insurance, many of my patient are not even having to pay for it.”

Responding to the promising cure for the dangerous virus, Dr. Jeff Barrows of Christian Medical Association says there is, in fact, an “inflammatory component” to the coronavirus so it makes sense to fight the virus with the steroid. But it does put doctors in a difficult position, he adds.  

“Normally we don't talk about success with a therapy until after that study has been done,” Barrows explains, “because it just raises confusion. It raises false hopes.”

According to Dr. Bartlett, the promising cure is set to fail if a doctor waits until the symptoms become severe. It works, he says, during mild symptoms but many COVID-19 patients are advised to postpone medical help until their condition worsens.

According to the News Medical story, Nicolau and the other medical researchers are aware of administering the inhaler soon after symptoms appear:

[Nicolau] explained that based on their speculation, the earlier a corticosteroid inhaler is started for those with symptoms of COVID-19, the lesser their risk of getting severely ill. This speculation, he said, was based on the mathematical modeling by the research team.

Any conclusive results from the UK trial would not be known until September, the story stated.  

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