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UMC Utrecht is working on a medicine against loss of smell due to corona

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An investigation is underway in Utrecht into a possible medicine against loss of smell as a result of a corona infection.

Two first small studies showed a beneficial effect, but to be sure that it works, research among a larger group of patients is needed, says ENT doctor Digna Kamalski in the NOS Radio 1 Journaal . She leads the research at the University Medical Center Utrecht.
After the outbreak of the pandemic, it turned out that many patients suffer from a loss of smell. “At first we thought it might just go away. But in many patients the loss of smell persists. It can last for months or maybe longer and people are very bothered by it.”

Researchers found that the loss of smell is related to an inflammatory process, but until now there was no cure for it. UMC Utrecht is now testing an anti-inflammatory drug, prednisolone, which, according to Kamalski, is the same as the better-known prednisone, but marketed under a different name.

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It’s a heavy drug, but a lot depends on the dosage, she says.

“You can give it short-term and high, or very long-term and low, and that gives different kinds of side effects. A short course like we give it, the side effects are limited. But side effects can occur for every drug. That’s why we want I’d really like to know if it actually works.”

The anti-inflammatory is now being tested on patients who suffer from a loss of smell. The effect is measured after three months. “At this point, about 25 patients have started it, but we still need a few more,” Kamalski says. Ultimately, 116 patients need to participate in order to draw any conclusions about efficacy.

People who suffer from loss of smell due to corona and want to participate in the study can register at UMC Utrecht on below link.


Report by NOS

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    Ankita Deshkar

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