Asthma medication relieves long COVID symptoms - new Norwegian study brings hope
31 May 2024

Asthma medication relieves long COVID symptoms - new Norwegian study brings hope

In a new Norwegian study, featured in Dagens Medisin and Aftenposten in Norway, as well as Svenska Dagbladet in Sweden, researchers used AsthmaTuner’s diagnostic tool to examine lung function variation in long COVID patients. The results showed that 29 out of 30 participants received a new diagnosis: asthma.


A new approach to long COVID treatment

Long COVID, a condition that troubles many after a COVID-19 infection, has proven to be challenging to treat. Symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, and shortness of breath persist long after the acute infection has subsided. A new Norwegian study, led by sports physician and researcher Tonje Reier-Nilsen, has discovered that asthma medication can alleviate symptoms in long COVID patients, even if they do not necessarily suffer from shortness of breath.

Remarkable findings

In the study, published in the journal Heliyon, 30 long COVID patients with varied symptoms participated. The patients used AsthmaTuner to conduct an assessment, and the researcher found lung function variability corresponding to asthma in 29 out of 30 participants. Surprisingly, all 29 of them experienced improvement after using asthma medication. The one patient who did not complete the study withdrew and was therefore not evaluated

Postviral astma som mulig forklaring

Reier-Nilsen suspected that long COVID symptoms could be due to a form of post-viral asthma, a condition that can arise after various viral infections. She notes that part of the long COVID symptoms may be attributed to inadequate airflow. Even mild respiratory issues, which may not necessarily result in noticeable shortness of breath, can thus play a role in the persistent symptoms experienced by many long COVID patients.

How asthma medication works

Asthma medications often contain anti-inflammatory steroids and bronchodilators that help reduce inflammation and open up the airways. Even though long COVID patients may not have classical asthma, they may experience mild inflammation in the airways exacerbating their symptoms. By using asthma medication, this inflammation can be reduced, leading to improved respiratory function and overall health.

An encouragement to healthcare professionals:

Reier-Nilsen underscores the importance of healthcare professionals being receptive to new treatment methods and customizing treatments to individual needs. She urges colleagues to consider asthma medication as a potential treatment option for long COVID patients, particularly those grappling with unexplained symptoms.

Oppfølging av behandling

Med AsthmaTuner sitt behandlingsverktøy kan du følge opp effekten av behandlingen med trendgrafen for å se utviklingen av lungefunksjon og symptomer over tid.

Closing thoughts

The study represents a significant step forward in understanding and treating long COVID. While much remains unknown about this condition, the findings from Reier-Nilsen’s research offer hope that there are effective ways to alleviate symptoms. For long COVID patients, this could mean a better quality of life.

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