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Saline for COVID-19

Saline has been reported as potentially beneficial for treatment of COVID-19. We have not reviewed these studies. See all other treatments.
Huijghebaert et al., Essentials in saline pharmacology for nasal or respiratory hygiene in times of COVID-19, European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, doi:10.1007/s00228-021-03102-3
Abstract Purpose Nasal irrigation or nebulizing aerosol of isotonic or hypertonic saline is a traditional method for respiratory or nasal care. A recent small study in outpatients with COVID-19 without acute respiratory distress syndrome suggests substantial symptom resolution. We therefore analyzed pharmacological/pharmacodynamic effects of isotonic or hypertonic saline, relevant to SARS-CoV-2 infection and respiratory care. Methods Mixed search method. Results Due to its wetting properties, saline achieves an improved spreading of alveolar lining fluid and has been shown to reduce bio-aerosols and viral load. Saline provides moisture to respiratory epithelia and gels mucus, promotes ciliary beating, and improves mucociliary clearance. Coronaviruses and SARS-CoV-2 damage ciliated epithelium in the nose and airways. Saline inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication in Vero cells; possible interactions involve the viral ACE2-entry mechanism (chloride-dependent ACE2 configuration), furin and 3CLpro (inhibition by NaCl), and the sodium channel ENaC. Saline shifts myeloperoxidase activity in epithelial or phagocytic cells to produce hypochlorous acid. Clinically, nasal or respiratory airway care with saline reduces symptoms of seasonal coronaviruses and other common cold viruses. Its use as aerosol reduces hospitalization rates for bronchiolitis in children. Preliminary data suggest symptom reduction in symptomatic COVID-19 patients if saline is initiated within 48 h of symptom onset. Conclusions Saline interacts at various levels relevant to nasal or respiratory hygiene (nasal irrigation, gargling or aerosol). If used from the onset of common cold symptoms, it may represent a useful add-on to first-line interventions for COVID-19. Formal evaluation in mild COVID-19 is desirable as to establish efficacy and optimal treatment regimens.
Li et al., Hypertonic saline and aprotinin based blockage of SARS-CoV-2 specific furin site cleavage by inhibition of nasal protease activity, bioRxiv, doi:10.1101/2021.11.19.469276
AbstractSARS-CoV-2 enters into the human body mainly through the nasal epithelial cells. Cell entry of SARS-CoV-2 needs to be pre-activated by S1/S2 boundary furin motif cleavage by furin and/or relevant proteases. It is important to locally block SARS-CoV-2 S1/S2 site cleavage caused by furin and other relevant protease activity in the nasal cavity. We tested hypertonic saline and aprotinin-based blockage of SARS-CoV-2 specific furin site cleavage by furin, trypsin and nasal swab samples containing nasal proteases. Our results show that saline and aprotinin block SARS-Cov-2 specific furin site cleavage and that a saline and aprotinin combination could significantly reduce SARS-Cov-2 wild-type and P681R mutant furin site cleavage by inhibition of nasal protease activity.
Please send us corrections, updates, or comments. c19early involves the extraction of 100,000+ datapoints from thousands of papers. Community updates help ensure high accuracy. Treatments and other interventions are complementary. All practical, effective, and safe means should be used based on risk/benefit analysis. No treatment or intervention is 100% available and effective for all current and future variants. We do not provide medical advice. Before taking any medication, consult a qualified physician who can provide personalized advice and details of risks and benefits based on your medical history and situation. FLCCC and WCH provide treatment protocols.
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