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Inhalational Ethanol Therapy in COVID-19 Treatment and Prevention

Background: Considering the proven anti coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and immunomodulatory effects of the ethanol, the efficacy of its administration was evaluated in this research. Because of respiratory tract entrance of virus and pulmonary involvement in COVID-19, this study was done by inhalation of nebulized ethanol. Methods: Ninety-nine symptomatic and positive SARS-CoV-2-PCR patients who had been admitted at a respiratory clinic to receive Remdesivir-Dexamethasone were included in this triple-blind trial study. Patients were randomly assigned to the control (placebo, distilled water spray) and intervention (35% ethanol spray) group. Both groups were instructed to inhale 3 puffs of spray (nebulizer) and breathe through the nose and mouth via a face mask, every six hours for a week. Global symptomatic score (GSS), clinical status scale (CSS) based on a 7-point ordinal scale ranging from death (category 1) to complete recovery (category 7), percentage of blood oxygen (with pulse oximeter), and C-Reactive Protein (CRP) level at the first visit and days 3, 7, 14 were measured and compared between the two groups. Results: GSS at the beginning of the study in the intervention group was similar to the control group (6.72±2.07 vs 6.67±2.09 respectively, P=0.91). Based on the analysis of repeated measures, the GSS decreased more and faster in the intervention group (ethanol) (1.4±1.4 vs 2.3±1.7, P=0.035) two weeks after starting intervention. On day 14, the odds of intervention group to have better clinical status was 5.715 times (95% CI, 2.47 to 13.19) than of control group a statistically significant effect, Wald χ2 (1) =16.67, P =0.001. Blood oxygen saturation also improved earlier in the ethanol group than in the control group, although the difference did not reach its statistical significance level (95.95%±2 vs 94.46%±1.8, P=0.097). The readmission rate after the complete period of treatment was lower in the intervention group (zero vs 10.9%, P=0.02). There was no need for intensive care unit hospitalization in both groups. The mortality rate was zero in both groups. Conclusion: Looking at the efficacy of the inhaled nebulized ethanol, its use seems to be effective in general rapid improvement, mitigating clinical symptoms and reducing the need to repeat treatment. Considering the low cost, availability and no significant adverse events of ethanol, research and additional efforts are recommended to evaluate its curative and preventive effects in the early stages of COVID-19.

COVID-19, Ethanol, Inhalation, Nebulizer

Ali Amoushahi, Elham Moazam, Pietro Salvatori. (2023). Inhalational Ethanol Therapy in COVID-19 Treatment and Prevention. Advances in Surgical Sciences, 11(2), 22-28.

Copyright © 2023 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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