Dexamethasone, a commonly used steroid that is currently used to reduce inflammation in other diseases, has become the first drug shown to be able to save Covid-19 patients.
Dexamethasone, a cheap and widely used steroid, has become the first drug shown to be able to save lives among COVID-19 patients in what scientists hailed as a “major breakthrough”.
According to the results of trials that were announced on Tuesday, the drug reduced death rates by around 33% among the severely ill patients admitted to hospitals.
The researchers who led the trials said that the results suggest the drug should immediately become standard care in patients with severe cases of the virus.
Martin Landray, an Oxford University professor co-leading the trial, known as the RECOVERY trial, said that COVID-19 patients who have been put in ventilators or are on oxygen support are given dexamethasone, it will save lives, and the cost incurred will also be very less.
Landray said that the results of the trial suggest that one death would be prevented by treatment with dexamethasone among every eight ventilated Covid-19 patients, adding that one death would be prevented among every 25 Covid-19 patients that received the drug and are on oxygen support.
Landray told reporters that it is going to be very hard for any drug to replace this, given that for less than 50 pounds ($63.26), you can treat eight patients and save a life,” he told reporters in an online briefing.
Peter Horby, Landray’s colleague, calling it a “major breakthrough”, said that dexamethasone was the only drug that has reduced the mortality rate from the disease. The RECOVERY trial was launched in April as a clinical trial to test potential treatments for the virus infection. Low-dose dexamethasone and the anti-malarial drug hydoxycholoroquine are among the drugs that were tested.
The trial compared outcomes of around 2,100 patients who were randomly assigned to get the steroid, with those of around 4,300 patients who did not get the drug.
It needs mention here that there are currently no approved vaccines for the Wuhan-originating Covid-19 that has so far killed 4.4 lakh people across the globe