NEW DELHI: Researchers from the University of Oxford in the UK state that a low-dose steroid drug called dexamethasone can reduce the risk of death in severe cases of the novel coronavirus by up to one-third among patients who are experiencing severe respiratory complications.
This drug is a part of the Recovery Trial that is testing existing treatments to see their efficacy against the novel coronavirus.
The drug is essentially used to reduce inflammation in a series of conditions but now it might see its use to cure COVID-19 too.
Dexamethasone for COVID-19
It is no news that in severe cases of COVID-19, our body’s immune system overclocks itself to fight the virus from affecting the body.
This phenomenon is often referred to as a cytokine storm and this can have catastrophic consequences on our body. This steroid somehow tried to stop this damage.
The trial that was led by Oxford University tested the steroid on around 6,000 patients where 2,000 were given dexamethasone and compared the outcome with the 4,000 who didn’t get the drug.
Reducing fatality in severe COVID-19 cases
For patients that required ventilators to breathe, the death risk dropped from a whopping 40 percent to 28 percent. Patients who needed oxygen, their death risk dropped from 25 percent to 20 percent.
Researchers claim that patients who’re surviving on oxygen, one life can be saved every 20 or 25 with the aforementioned drug.
According to lead researcher Prof. Martin Landray, “There is a clear, clear benefit. The treatment is up to 10 days of dexamethasone and it costs about £5 per patient. So essentially it costs £35 to save a life. This is a drug that is globally available.”
It is also important to note that the drug didn’t show any effects on COVID-19 patients that didn’t have severe breathing issues or required oxygen or ventilators to breathe.
Apart from Dexamethasone, Remdesivir is the only clinically approved drug that’s currently helping to shorten recovery time for people with coronavirus.
Disclaimer: While there have been several different types of treatments being given to COVID-19 patients across the world, there isn’t any one drug that has worked as a sure-shot treatment yet. Don’t self medicate and always consult your doctor or medical health professional for any symptoms.
Source: India Times