A big advancement in finding a cure for the lethal coronavirus, United Kingdom (UK) initial clinical trial findings showed dexamethasone, a corticosteroid, can be lifesaving for patients with COVID-19 who are critically ill.
The low dose and readily available medication reduced the risk of death for patients on ventilators by a third according to the data. That cut deaths by a quarter for those on oxygen.
This can also be a sigh of relief for third world countries where the number of patients suffering from coronavirus is increasingly growing.
In the trial, the Oxford University team administered dexamethasone to about 2,000 hospital patients and compared it to more than 4,000.
Chief investigator Prof Peter Horby said: “Only drug so far shown to reduce mortality – and it reduces it significantly. It’s a major breakthrough.”
Lead researcher Prof. Martin Landray said that the findings indicated that one life could save every eighth patient on the ventilator, and every 20-25 treated with oxygen.
The World Health Organization (WHO) on the other hand welcomes the results of the initial clinical trials.
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said “First treatment to be shown to reduce mortality in patients with COVID-19 requiring oxygen or ventilator support.”
Dexamethasone, a steroid; used in a number of conditions since the 1960s to minimize inflammation, including inflammatory disorders and some cancers;
The drug has already been listed in several formulations on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines since 1977.
The drug is also actually off-patented and available in most countries at a reasonable cost.