MANILA - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday said COVID-19 patients may use asthma drug budesonide to alleviate difficulties in breathing as long as it is prescribed by their doctors.
Budesonide is "an old drug" that is already registered in the Philippines, FDA Director General Eric Domingo told state broadcaster PTV.
"Hindi ito bagong gamot... pero depende po yan sa doktor," he said.
(This is not a new drug but it depends on the doctor.)
"Kung nakikita nila na kailangan ito ng kanilang pasyente at kung makakatulong ito sa kanila, then maaari nilang gamitin ang gamot," he said.
(If doctors think that this could help their patients or if their patients need this, then they can use the drug.)
The steroid budesonide appears to reduce the need for hospitalizations as well as recovery time for COVID-19 patients, according to a study from Oxford University.
Initial data from the study also found volunteers treated with budesonide had a quicker resolution of fever and fewer persistent symptoms.