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At the time of writing over five million people have been infected by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus around the world.
The severe clinical condition that leads to deaths is now called CoVID-19. Currently, there are no effective treatments for the early or late stages of this illness. Governments worldwide have undertaken dramatic interventions to try and reduce the rate of spread of this deadly coronavirus.

Early data from multiple studies in China, where the virus originated, show that severe cases of CoVID-19 are not as prevalent in patients with chronic lung diseases as expected. This is similar to findings from Italy and the US. We think that the widespread use of inhaled corticosteroids may be reducing the risk of severe CoVID-19 infection in patients with chronic lung disease. Early experimental data also shows that inhaled corticosteroids are effective at slowing down the rate of coronavirus replication on lung cells.

Inhaled corticosteroids are widely used to manage common lung conditions, such as asthma and chronic obstructive lung disease. This type of medicine is among the top 3 most common medication prescribed around the world. These medicines are safe, the way inhaled steroids work is well understood, and the potential side effects are mild and reversible. 

We propose to test the idea that, in participants early in the course of CoVID-19 illness, daily inhaled corticosteroids for a maximum of 28 days, will reduce the chances of severe respiratory illness needing hospitalisation. We will also study the effect of this inhaled therapy on physiology, symptoms and the amount of virus that is shed. 

STOIC study flow chart

Trial flow chart


For detailed information, please see the Participant Information Sheet.