A major breakthrough in finding the cure for the deadly coronavirus, initial clinical trial results from the United Kingdom (UK) that show dexamethasone, a corticosteroid, can be lifesaving for patients who are critically ill with COVID-19.
According to the details, the low dose and widely available drug cut the risk of death by a third for patients on ventilators. For those on oxygen, it cut deaths by a fifth.
Furthermore, it can also be a sigh of relief for the third world countries where the number of coronavirus patients are rapidly increasing.
In the trial,
The team from Oxford University, about 2,000 hospital patients given dexamethasone and compared with more than 4,000.
- For patients on ventilators, it cut the risk of death from 40% to 28%.
- For patients needing oxygen, it cut the risk of death from 25% to 20%.
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 the findings suggested one life could saved for:
- every eight patients on a ventilator
- every 20-25 treated with oxygen
On the other hand The World Health Organization (WHO) welcomes the initial clinical trial results.
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 since the 1960s to reduce inflammation in a range of conditions, including inflammatory disorders and certain cancers.
The drug now listed on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines since 1977 in multiple formulations.
Furthermore the drug is currently off-patent and affordably available in most countries.