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Safety and Efficacy of Nasal Sprays for COVID-19: What You Need to Know

By Udi Damari on Jun 05, 2024 0 Comment

With the recent pandemic being one of the most destructive in the past century, researchers believe that it is only the beginning. Manufacturers are scrambling to test different medicines, including nasal sprays, to ensure preparedness when the COVID-19 virus mutates into another strain. 

In this article, we will explore the safety and efficacy of the nasal sprays that are currently being tested against COVID-19. Keep reading until the end, as we will also go over the things you should consider when buying one. Let's get started!

The Safety and Efficacy of Nasal Sprays for COVID Prevention

There are many different types of nasal sprays that manufacturers are testing against COVID-19, and these include the following:

COVID Nasal Vaccines

As of writing this article, there are currently 16 nasal vaccines under testing. They work by building antibodies in the nose to destroy the SARS-CoV-2 virus that is responsible for causing COVID.

Countries like India, China, and Russia have authorized the use of nasal vaccines. The Kremlin introduced the world's first COVID nasal spray, Sputnik V, followed by Salnavac. Unfortunately, the manufacturers are not seeking authorization in the United States. 

Bharat Biotech from India has also shown promising results with its BBV154. Considered to be the world's third COVID nasal vaccine, the country authorized its use for emergency cases in September 2022. 

Besides the ones that have shown massive success in clinical trials, there are many other nasal vaccines that are being studied for COVID-19 prevention. CoviLiv, for example, is the by-product of a joint collaboration between Codagenix and the World Health Organization (WHO). It's made from the weakened parts of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and can provide broad immunity.

According to the results of the early studies conducted (Phase 1 and Phase 2), CoviLiv displayed a strong protective response, suggesting a possibility of advanced protection against future strains without the need for reformulations. 

In China, researchers have developed a live-attenuated intranasal COVID vaccine. While the results of Phase 1 and Phase 2 trials show that it is safe to use, no information is available on whether it provides sufficient protection against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases financially supports researchers in developing a COVID nasal vaccine called N-0385. It has shown positive progress in animal testing, and the team is looking to push for human clinical trials.

Nitric Oxide Nasal Sprays

Nitric oxide (NO), a chemical produced by the body, plays a vital role in regulating the immune system. Due to years of studies on this physiological compound, researchers have shown interest in using it in nasal sprays for COVID-19 prevention. 

Only one company has successfully tested and proven the efficacy of NO in nasal sprays against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and other common colds. Its SaNOtize Nitric Oxide Nasal Spray (NONS) recently underwent the Glenmark Phase 3 clinical trials in India. 

According to the results, Enovid SaNOtize NONS successfully reduced the SARS-CoV-2 log viral load by 94% in under a day and over 99% within 48 hours. It not only destroyed the virus but also improved recovery times. 

Other Nasal Sprays

pHOXBIO, a privately held biotech company, recently developed its nasal spray. COVID-19 treatments revolve around preventing respiratory illnesses, and the company's pHOXWELL has been shown to reduce the risk of contracting the SARS-CoV-2 virus in healthcare workers by 62%. 

Currently, the manufacturer is seeking authorization in India with the hopes of expanding to other countries. 

The IGM-6268 is another nasal spray that is currently being tested against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. While it's still in the early stages of the clinical trials, the company remains hopeful that its antibody approach to combating COVID-19 will deliver positive results when targeting the coronavirus's spike protein. 

Iota-carrageenan (I-C) is an antiviral sulfated polysaccharide derived from algae and a wide range of red seaweeds. In Argentina, 400 healthcare workers received either four daily doses of I-C or a placebo for 21 days. 

According to the results, the nasal spray containing iota-carrageenan reduced the chances of contracting the COVID-19 virus by 80%. That said, there is still a need for further research into the efficacy of I-C. 

Research conducted in the past highlights the importance of xylitol in reducing viral load. Some studies suggest that it is effective in reducing the virus count, while others shed light on the compound's antiviral abilities in stopping the SARS-CoV-2 from entering the respiratory system.

While nasal sprays containing xylitol are readily available on the market, there is still a need for further testing and clinical trials to determine the efficacy of these products. 

What Medications Can You Take to Treat COVID-19?

Since there are no medications that cure COVID-19, patients must use over-the-counter products to relieve its symptoms. 

However, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved certain antiviral drugs like Paxlovid, Veklury, and Lagevrio to reduce the risk of complications in people who are more likely to get sick. 

What to Look for in a Nasal Spray

COVID-19 treatments revolve around building immunity, reducing viral load, and providing relief from the symptoms of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. When choosing a nasal spray to combat the pathogens and prevent them from entering the nasal passages, it's essential to look out for the following: 

  • Successful clinical trials that highlight the nasal spray's safety and efficacy
  • Active ingredients that have successfully proven to kill pathogens
  • Minimal to no side effects
  • Ease of access
  • Easy to use
  • Positive reviews from users and healthcare providers

At the time of writing this article, Enovid SaNOtize NONS is the only safe and effective nasal spray COVID-19 patients can use. It has undergone all phases of clinical trials (with exceptional results) and is readily available to purchase from online stores. 

Final Thoughts on the Best and Safe Nasal Spray

COVID-19 treatments include taking over-the-counter medication to relieve the symptoms of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Nasal sprays are considered to be effective, as they work by blocking pathogens from entering the respiratory system and reducing their viral load. 

In case of severe illness, it's best to seek immediate medical assistance, as some people may have adverse reactions to the virus.

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