Some drug combos may reduce amount of COVID in mouth: health advocate

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 17 2022 05:46 PM

A local pharmacy opens its door for the 5-day trial of DOH’s “Resbakuna sa mga Botika,”on January 20, 202, in an attempt to strengthen COVID-19 vaccination efforts in the country. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News]
A local pharmacy opens its door for the 5-day trial of DOH’s “Resbakuna sa mga Botika,”on January 20, 202, in an attempt to strengthen COVID-19 vaccination efforts in the country. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - A study has shown that some over-the-counter products that combine anti-inflammatory and antiseptic drugs may reduce the amount of COVID-19 and other coronaviruses present in the mouth cavity, a health advocate said Wednesday.

Lozenges with a combination of Benzydamine Hydrochloride (BH) and Cetylpyridinium Chloride (CPC) reduced by 10,000-fold the concentration of infective COVID-19, said Dr. Tony Leachon, citing a laboratory study in Slovenia that has yet to be peer-reviewed. 

The drug combination has yet to be used on humans and has yet to be approved by regulatory bodies, Leachon said.

"It has viricidal effect based on in-vitro, ibig sabihin laboratory testing di pa siya peer-reviewed, against COVID-19. And we know it will actually kill some of the viruses, kasi the coronavirus di lang naman COVID lang, present in our mouth cavity," he said in a media forum.

(It has viricidal effect based on in-vitro, which is laboratory testing, it's not yet peer-reviewed, against COVID-19. And we know it will actually kill some of the viruses, because COVID is not the only coronavirus, present in our mouth cavity.)

"This will actually cause the reduction of the viral transmission. We know it will come in different forms, pwedeng (it might be) aerosol, droplets or airborne."

The combination of the two drugs works by disrupting the protective envelope of the virus, Leachon said.

"If you disrupt that part, protective envelope of the virus, perhaps you will be able to reduce the amount of virus in the oral cavity and of course in essence reduce the risk of viral transmission," he said.

"The concentration of the combination will be better than free active substance alone, kung single lang siya (when one is used by itself)."

Minimizing the risk of transmission is important in preventing another surge in infections especially as the country begins to ease its restrictions, according to Leachon.

"The best way is to actually empower ourselves because we know the surges in the past were actually triggered by variants coming from other countries," he said.

The omicron variant mainly presents with symptoms of sore throat, fever, and cough, while the delta presents with loss of sense of smell and taste, shortness of breath and flu-like symptoms, Leachon said.

The deltacron, a recombinant variant of the two, may be a combination of the highly transmissible omicron and respiratory symptoms of the delta variant, Leachon added.

"Magkakaproblema tayo d'yan (That will become a problem for us). It's very important we maintain vaccination and boost up vulnerable sector of population," he said.

Leachon said he supports the retention of Alert Level 1 as the lowest status in government's COVID-19 restrictions until 55 days after the May elections.

"I think importante pa rin na i-retain ang (it's still important to retain) face mask because this is essential and this will be our way of life. Considering there are nations that removed the mask and nagkaroon sila ng (they had) surges," he said.

"I think we're ready at a certain degree but we have problems in the countryside because of the weaker healthcare system."

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