Impact of asthma medications on COVID outcomes

On May 6, 2020, in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, Johns Hopkins researchers published “Asthma, Biologics, Corticosteroids, and COVID-19.” The authors reinforce the message that current data on the risk of acquiring COVID-19 or disease severity in patients with asthma is limited and they identify recommendations for future research (in the table below). In this article, they share information about the impact on COVID-19 of both steroids and biologics used to treat asthma. The researchers believe that the effect of steroids on acquiring COVID-19 and/or the severity of COVID-19 likely depends on a number of individual factors, including baseline asthma control and dose of the steroid. They do not believe any of the biologics used for asthma treatment would increase the risk of acquiring COVID-19 or the severity of it. They state, “On the contrary, we postulate that the reversal of the Th2 skew and the improvement in airway allergic and eosinophilic inflammation and bronchial responsiveness induced by these biologics, could be advantageous in patients with asthma who are already on these medications prior to contracting COVID-19.” They conclude that, as we continue to learn more, patients with asthma should continue to exercise caution to prevent contracting the disease.

For a full sized version of the table, click on the image.