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Be Warned! Nasal Sprays Should Not be Used To Prevent Or Treat COVID-19, Says The FDA

Be Warned! Nasal Sprays Should Not be Used To Prevent Or Treat COVID-19, Says The FDA
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Earlier in September, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned the general public against nasal sprays that are being advertised as “treatment” for COVID-19, refuting the claims of some products that are being sold in drugstores.

The health regulatory agency released an advisory, saying that these nasal spray products have been authorized as “medical devices which are intended for short-term use in the nasal cavity and serves as mechanical barrier from particulates.” They coat the nasal mucosa with “substances that have a non-specific effect against pathogens,” which cannot be used as substitutes to treat or prevent COVID-19.

The FDA’s statement was backed by the Philippine Society of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (PSO-HNS), which reviews all relevant data regarding the coronavirus.

“Commercially available nasal sprays with barrier protective effects may have a role in the mucosal defense against pathogens and contaminants,” the PSO-HNS said in its September 10 advisory. “However, the PSO-HNS reiterates the stand of the FDA that these should not be used as substitutes for medicines and vaccines to prevent or treat COVID-19.”

The FDA says it is checking the whole database on the registered nasal spray products. “From there we could see which will be part of this review. We cannot say at this time if it is purely misleading claims or on the marketing of the product.”

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Nasal spray vaccines are under clinical trial

The World Health Organization (WHO) says that eight nasal spray vaccines that aim to target the SARS-CoV-2 virus will be under clinical trials for further evaluation. Nasal spray vaccines aim to “lower the risk of infecting other people,” says researcher Nathalie Mielcarek.

“When the virus infects someone, it usually gets in through the nose. The idea is to shut the door,” Mielcarek adds. The nasal spray vaccines supposedly work by triggering the production of immunoglobulin A antibodies, preventing infection. “From there you have less of the virus infecting the lungs and so fewer severe cases since the viral load is lower.”

A French study tested the nasal spray vaccines on mice, and 100% of the mice vaccinated with the nasal spray survived COVID-19, while the unvaccinated subjects did not.

These nasal spray vaccines would need to be studied further to determine if they are truly effective against COVID-19.

Until then, let’s get vaccinated!

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