Nitric oxide may be an effective treatment for COVID-19

Nitric oxide may be an effective treatment for COVID-19

Written by Timothy Huzar on July 22, 2020 — Fact checked by Allison Kirsop, Ph.D.

New research has suggested that the inhalation of nitric oxide may be a way to reduce the effects of COVID-19.

Share on PinterestCould inhaled nitric oxide play a role in treating COVID-19?

A new review of scientific literature indicates that inhaled nitric oxide may treat some severe effects of COVID-19, some of which can be fatal.

The research, appearing in the journal Nitric Oxide, paves the way for future research to see whether the theory stands up to practice.

Stay informed with live updates on the current COVID-19 outbreak and visit our coronavirus hub for more advice on prevention and treatment.

Vaccines and therapies

The sudden emergence and rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 have left scientists urgently seeking therapies to slow the spread of the virus and relieve the symptoms of the disease that it can cause, COVID-19.

As well as being a direct threat to human life, COVID-19 has also overwhelmed critical care infrastructure around the world, imperiling the lives of people who do not have the disease but nonetheless need urgent access to critical care.

While positive steps toward a vaccine are underway, none has been approved for use. Further, if a vaccine is realized, distributing and administering it to even the most vulnerable groups globally is likely to take time.

Finally, the period during which a vaccine confers immunity could vary, ranging from permanent immunity to that lasting only a few months.

As a consequence, much research is attempting to identify effective treatments that may not “cure” the disease but that nonetheless reduce its severity, potentially saving lives and reducing the severe strain on intensive care units.

In this context, a team of researchers, many from The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, in Washington, D.C., have assessed whether nitric oxide may play a role in treating COVID-19.


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