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0 0.5 1 1.5 2+ Hospitalization/ER 82% Improvement Relative Risk Hospitalization/ER (b) 90% Recovery 67% Recovery time 12% no CI Budesonide  STOIC  EARLY TREATMENT  RCT Is early treatment with budesonide beneficial for COVID-19? RCT 146 patients in the United Kingdom (July - December 2020) Fewer hosp./ER visits (p=0.017) and improved recovery (p=0.003) Ramakrishnan et al., Lancet Respirator.., Feb 2021 Favors budesonide Favors control

Inhaled budesonide in the treatment of early COVID-19 (STOIC): a phase 2, open-label, randomised controlled trial

Ramakrishnan et al., Lancet Respiratory Medicine, doi:10.1016/S2213-2600(21)00160-0 (date from preprint), STOIC, NCT04416399
Feb 2021  
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RCT with 73 budesonide patients and 73 control patients, showing significantly lower combined risk of an ER visit or hospitalization, and lower risk of no recovery at day 14.
Targeted administration to the respiratory tract provides treatment directly to the typical source of initial SARS-CoV-2 infection and replication, and allows for rapid onset of action, higher local drug concentration, and reduced systemic side effects.
risk of hospitalization/ER, 81.8% lower, RR 0.18, p = 0.02, treatment 2 of 73 (2.7%), control 11 of 73 (15.1%), NNT 8.1, ITT.
risk of hospitalization/ER, 90.1% lower, RR 0.10, p = 0.004, treatment 1 of 70 (1.4%), control 10 of 69 (14.5%), NNT 7.7, PP.
risk of no recovery, 67.1% lower, RR 0.33, p = 0.003, treatment 7 of 70 (10.0%), control 21 of 69 (30.4%), NNT 4.9, PP, day 14.
recovery time, 12.5% lower, relative time 0.88, treatment 70, control 69, PP.
Effect extraction follows pre-specified rules prioritizing more serious outcomes. Submit updates
Ramakrishnan et al., 8 Feb 2021, Randomized Controlled Trial, United Kingdom, peer-reviewed, 24 authors, study period 16 July, 2020 - 9 December, 2020, average treatment delay 3.0 days, trial NCT04416399 (history) (STOIC).
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This PaperBudesonideAll
Inhaled budesonide in the treatment of early COVID-19 (STOIC): a phase 2, open-label, randomised controlled trial
MBBS Sanjay Ramakrishnan, Dan V Nicolau Jr, Mahdi Mahdi Beverly Langford, Mahdi Mahdi, Helen Jeffers, Christine Mwasuku, MSc Karolina Krassowska, Robin Fox, Ian Binnian, Victoria Glover, Stephen Bright, Christopher Butler, PhD Jennifer L Cane, Andreas Halner, Philippa C Matthews, Prof Louise E Donnelly, Jodie L Simpson, PhD Jonathan R Baker, Nabil T Fadai, PhD Stefan Peterson, Thomas Bengtsson, Peter J Barnes, Richard E K Russell, Prof Mona Bafadhel
The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, doi:10.1016/s2213-2600(21)00160-0
Background Multiple early reports of patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 showed that patients with chronic respiratory disease were significantly under-represented in these cohorts. We hypothesised that the widespread use of inhaled glucocorticoids among these patients was responsible for this finding, and tested if inhaled glucocorticoids would be an effective treatment for early COVID-19. Methods We performed an open-label, parallel-group, phase 2, randomised controlled trial (Steroids in COVID-19; STOIC) of inhaled budesonide, compared with usual care, in adults within 7 days of the onset of mild COVID-19 symptoms. The trial was done in the community in Oxfordshire, UK. Participants were randomly assigned to inhaled budsonide or usual care stratified for age (≤40 years or >40 years), sex (male or female), and number of comorbidities (≤1 and ≥2). Randomisation was done using random sequence generation in block randomisation in a 1:1 ratio. Budesonide dry powder was delivered using a turbohaler at a dose of 400 μg per actuation. Participants were asked to take two inhalations twice a day until symptom resolution. The primary endpoint was COVID-19-related urgent care visit, including emergency department assessment or hospitalisation, analysed for both the per-protocol and intentionto-treat (ITT) populations. The secondary outcomes were self-reported clinical recovery (symptom resolution), viral symptoms measured using the Common Cold Questionnare (CCQ) and the InFLUenza Patient Reported Outcome Questionnaire (FLUPro), body temperature, blood oxygen saturations, and SARS-CoV-2 viral load. The trial was stopped early after independent statistical review concluded that study outcome would not change with further participant enrolment. This trial is registered with, NCT04416399. Findings From July 16 to Dec 9, 2020, 167 participants were recruited and assessed for eligibility. 21 did not meet eligibility criteria and were excluded. 146 participants were randomly assigned-73 to usual care and 73 to budesonide. For the per-protocol population (n=139), the primary outcome occurred in ten (14%) of 70 participants in the usual care group and one (1%) of 69 participants in the budesonide group (difference in proportions 0•131, 95% CI 0•043 to 0•218; p=0•004). For the ITT population, the primary outcome occurred in 11 (15%) participants in the usual care group and two (3%) participants in the budesonide group (difference in proportions 0•123, 95% CI 0•033 to 0•213; p=0•009). The number needed to treat with inhaled budesonide to reduce COVID-19 deterioration was eight. Clinical recovery was 1 day shorter in the budesonide group compared with the usual care group (median 7 days [95% CI 6 to 9] in the budesonide group vs 8 days [7 to 11] in the usual care group; log-rank test p=0•007). The mean proportion of days with a fever in the first 14 days was lower in the budesonide group (2%, SD 6) than the usual care group (8%, SD..
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