Dr Richard Bartlett Inhaled Budesonide Protocol for COVID-19 (Updated October 2021)

In April 2021, The Lancet reported evidence of UK’s first effective drug to treat COVID-19 in patients at home, inhaled budesonide, showing the treatment can reduce recovery time by a median of three days. The treatment has since been included in clinical guidelines for treating early-stage COVID-19 across the UK, Canada and India.

Dr. Richard Bartlett shared with ACWT (America Can We Talk) about how asthma medicine Budesonide emptied a hospital ICU after being used to treat coronavirus. 

Richard Bartlett made waves in a July 2, 2020 interview (the video has been removed for violating YouTube's Community Guidelines) that already has racked up 4.1 million views online. In the interview, Bartlett, who has practiced medicine for 28 years and was part of former Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s Health Disparities Task Force, boasted a 100% survival rate for his patients since March 2020 by using his treatment strategy, centered around an inhaled steroid called budesonide.

“We have cracked the case,” the doctor said. He emphatically doubled down in an interview last week: “The cat is out of the bag. We have an answer for this. We don’t need another answer.”

  • Publication of the British trial (PRINCIPLE) of inhaled budesonide in outpatient, with 3 days faster recovery and a 25% reduction (8.8% vs 6.8%) in hospitalization/death (The Lancet, Aug 2021).
  • Budesonide is widely known as an anti-inflammatory and not anti-viral. However, this study (Viruses - July 2021) demonstrated a dose-dependent inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 that was comparable between all viral variants tested and could indicate a multimodal mode of action of budesonide against SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, which could contribute to an improved clinical performance.
  • COVID-19 is a highly dynamic topic. Please refer to the latest FLCCC protocol (constantly updated).

Well, with COVID-19, nothing has been that simple. But the “silver bullet,” as Bartlett called it, isn’t new at all, which is part of what makes it so intriguing. And despite very reasonable pushback from some sectors of the medical community, it’s worth a closer look.

For more than 20 years, doctors have prescribed budesonide, an anti-inflammatory, as preventive medicine for asthmatics. Inhaled corticosteroids, in fact, have been used for some time in patients of all ages, and very safely. On a theoretical basis, employing steroids to fight COVID-19 makes practical sense.

Below are links to a peer-reviewed studies, articles in medical journals, or news articles regarding the efficacy of budesonide.

Medical Journal Articles or Studies
News Reports & Studies
Below are links to studies or articles about the efficacy or success of some of the other remedies we recommend for prevention and treatment.
Clinical Research

There are several open-label studies currently open to recruitment examining the role of inhaled budesonide in COVID-19 infection (ISRCTN86534580, NCT04355637, NCT04331054) and others investigating the role of inhaled ciclesonide (NCT04330586, NCT04377711, NCT04381364, NCT04356495); whether these studies also show an effect on long COVID will be of importance.

Editor's Note and Key Takeaway

Two recent Randomised Controlled Trials (STOIC 2021PRINCIPLE 2021) have demonstrated more rapid symptomatic improvement in ambulatory patients with COVID-19 treated with inhaled budesonide, however, there was no difference in the rate of hospitalization. It should be noted that both these studies were open label (no placebo in the control arm) and that the primary end-point was subjective (time to symptom resolution). Corticosteroids downregulate the expression of interferons (hosts primary antiviral defenses) and downregulated ACE-2 expression (harmful). 

Furthermore, two population level studies (Lancet Resp Med 2021OpenSAFELY 2021) suggest that inhaled corticosteroids may increase the risk of death in patients with COVID-19. Based on these data the role of inhaled corticosteroids in the 'early phase' of COVID-19 is unclear. 

There is also a common confusion between 'inhaled' budesonide and 'nasal spray' budesonide. They are not the same. Nasal sprays are meant for the nose and is commonly used for allergic rhinitis. However, for the drug to get to the lungs, budesonide needs to be in an inhalation device (e.g. Pulmicort Turbohaler).


  1. I couldn't get this link to work.....thank you!

    Many visitors have requested that we make the document below available in printable form; this link is to pdf file that should be printable: (1) Dr. Bartlett’s Protocol


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