Iodine Nasal Spray vs COVID-19: An Unbiased Review

Joe Condora
Iodine Nasal Spray vs COVID-19: An Unbiased Review

With the highly contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19 spreading across the United States, many individuals are looking for natural treatments that may aid in the prevention and treatment of the virus. While much is still unknown about the Omicron variant (and the COVID-19 virus overall) new clinical research has revealed some unsuspecting natural methods that may offer protection (and reduction of symptoms in COVID-19 positive patients).

There is no shortage of misinformation that can be found on the internet regarding COVID-19 and treatment protocols that may be beneficial. One of these protocols that has gained popularity recently is iodine nasal sprays and mouth rinses.

Below, we will examine clinical research on the efficacy of iodine nasal sprays and mouth rinses in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. Links to the research articles will be posted at the bottom of this page for individuals who would like to read the research for themselves.


Looking to purchase povidone-iodine nasal spray? Click this link


Iodine Nasal Spray as a Preventative

Iodine nasal sprays have been used for years to reduce contraction of a variety of viruses including the common cold, the flu, and even SARS-CoV-1. In fact, povidone-iodine have been shown to possess viricidal properties, killing 99.9% of the viruses that it is exposed to.  For this reason, researchers theorized iodine nasal sprays may also be an important component of a SARS-CoV-2 prevention protocol.

One main way that COVID-19 enters the human body is thru the nose and mouth, where it binds to specific receptors, beginning to multiply and manifest. Research published in 2021 in the Indian Journal of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery aimed to assess the benefits of utilizing povidone-iodine as part of a COVID-19 protection protocol and alter the infection process.

According to the research, povidone-iodine nasal spray can function as an “effective shield”, coating the nasal and oral mucosa and preventing SARS-CoV-2 from attaching to the receptors it needs to infect and colonize the cells.

The researchers concluded that healthcare workers and those looking to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection may consider utilizing povidone-iodine nasal spray as a preventative for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.


Looking to purchase povidone-iodine nasal spray? Click this link


Iodine Nasal Delivery Reducing Virus-Colonization

Research published in May of 2021 investigated the anti-colonization properties of povidone-iodine against COVID-19 and uncovered shocking results. A total of 189 COVID-19 positive patients were randomized to separate groups, receiving either povidone-iodine irrigation, povidone-iodine nasal spray, or a placebo of distilled water nasal spray.

To assess the efficacy of the treatments, RT-PCR tests were performed to assess total viral load. The researchers found that both iodine nasal spray and irrigation improved viral clearance statistically significantly more than the placebo. This research shows that individuals who utilize povidone-iodine nasal sprays and irrigations early on in infection will likely experience reduced severity of symptoms and decreased time of infection.


Contradictory Research

A triple blinded clinical trial published in November of 2021 aimed to investigate the impact of COVID-19 positive patients using iodine nasal spray on total viral load and severity of symptoms. A triple blinded trial is one of the most reliable forms of research because virtually all potential biases are removed. A more commonly utilized study design is a double-blind study, which involves both the study participants and the researchers not knowing which groups received a treatment protocol and which groups received a placebo. A triple blind study takes it a step further and also does not reveal to the researchers who are responsible for analyzing the results which groups received the treatment and which groups received a placebo.

In the November 2021 study mentioned above which was published in The Laryngoscope journal, patients who tested positive for COVID-19 within the previous five days received nasal sprays containing either placebo (saline solution) or povidone-iodine. Symptom assessment of patients was taken at baseline, after 3 days, and after 5 days to compare the groups. Both viral load and severity of symptoms decreased at a similar rate amongst both the groups receiving the povidone-iodine nasal spray and the placebo saline solution. In short, the povidone-iodine nasal spray offered little to no benefit in COVID-19 positive patients compared to the placebo in this well-designed study.


The conclusion

Much is still unknown about the efficacy of povidone-iodine against SARS-CoV-2. However, the research seems to show that utilizing povidone-iodine as a preventative may be more effective than utilizing it after the virus has already colonized. It seems as though individuals who have already had the virus in their system for several days before using povidone-iodine spray may receive less benefit than those who began the protocol preventatively or upon immediate infection.

In conclusion, povidone-iodine may be safely used as part of a virus-prevention protocol as it has little side effects (solely nasal irritation) and research is promising regarding its efficacy against the contraction of SARS-CoV-2.


 Looking to purchase povidone-iodine nasal spray? Click this link


Joe Condora is the nutrition and health coach at Valley Integrative Pharmacy and host of the top-rated health and wellness podcast The Primal Example Podcast. 

 Arefin, M.K. Povidone Iodine (PVP-I) Oro-Nasal Spray: An Effective Shield for COVID-19 Protection for Health Care Worker (HCW), for all. Indian J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg (2021).

Köntös Z. (2021). Efficacy of "Essential Iodine Drops" against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). PloS one, 16(7), e0254341.

Naqvi, S., et. al,(2020). Povidone-iodine solution as SARS-CoV-2 prophylaxis for procedures of the upper aerodigestive tract a theoretical framework. Journal of otolaryngology - head & neck surgery = Le Journal d'oto-rhino-laryngologie et de chirurgie cervico-faciale, 49(1), 77.

Zarabanda, D., et. al, (2021). The Effect of Povidone-Iodine Nasal Spray on Nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 Viral Load: A Randomized Control Trial. The Laryngoscope, 10.1002/lary.29935. Advance online publication.


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