Dexamethasone - The breakthrough Covid-19 treatment

Published Jun 17, 2020


CAPE TOWN - Oxford University treatment trials on Covid-19 made a breakthrough with Dexamethasone - a low costing steroid -which apparently reduces the deaths in patients suffering from severe symptoms of the virus.

Dexamethasone is an anti-inflammatory medication used for many conditions, most commonly used for swelling, allergic reactions and even as a pretreatment helping reduce the inflammation caused by chemotherapy.

RECOVERY (Randomised Evaluation of COVid-19 thERapY) held a clinical trial in March which tested a range of possible covid-19 treatments in over 11,500 infected patients.

“A total of 2104 patients were randomised to receive dexamethasone 6 mg once per day (either by mouth or by

intravenous injection) for ten days and were compared with 4321 patients randomised to usual care alone.”

The study found that “1 death would be prevented by treatment of around 8 ventilated patients or around 25 patients requiring oxygen alone” the statement says.

Peter Horby, Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases in the Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of

Oxford, said, “Dexamethasone is the first drug to be shown to improve survival in COVID-19.”

“This is an extremely welcome result. The survival benefit is clear and large in those patients who are sick enough to require oxygen treatment, so dexamethasone should now become standard of care in these patients. Dexamethasone is inexpensive, on the shelf, and can be used immediately to save lives worldwide.”

The statement concludes by pointing out the importance of quality clinical trial testing and how remarkable of an accomplishment it has been with researchers finding an effective treatment so quickly.

Although the Covid-19 vaccine is still in development, this is still a major breakthrough in treatment for the disease as dexamethasone is a low costing drug that is accessible throughout the world which according to the study has proven to decrease the mortality rate of Covid-19.

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