With recent development is fight against COVID-19, researchers in England find first evidence that the widely available steroid called dexamethasone can reduce deaths by up to one third in severely ill ventilated patients.
The observation was based on a clinical trial called RECOVERY (Randomised Evaluation of COVid-19 therapy) to test potential treatments for COVID-19, including a steroid treatment with low-dose dexamethasone.
The drug was given either orally or through an IV. After 28 days, it had reduced deaths by 35 per cent in patients who needed treatment with breathing machines and by 20 per cent in those only needing supplemental oxygen. It, however, did not appear to help less ill patients As part of the RECOVERY trial, Dexamethasone was tested on 2104 patients who received 6 mg of the drug once per day for ten days and were compared with 4321 patients randomised to usual care alone.
Based on these results, “one death would be prevented by treatment of around 8 ventilated patients or around 25 patients requiring oxygen alone.”
Overall dexamethasone reduced the 28-day mortality rate by 17% with a highly significant trend showing greatest benefit among those patients requiring ventilation, researches estimated.
Dexamethasone is a steroid drug typically used to reduce inflammation. According to the NHS, “steroid tablets, also called corticosteroid tablets, are a type of anti-inflammatory medicine used to treat a range of conditions. They can be used to treat problems such as allergies, asthma, eczema, inflammatory bowel disease and arthritis.”
Dexamethasone is available in following trade names in Pakistan: