Steroid dexamethasone has confirmed life-saving benefits for coronavirus patients on ventilators. However, it may cause harm if given too early.
According to details, full results from a UK trial of dexamethasone were published on Friday. The results suggested that the drug provides confirmed benefits for Covid-19 patients, who are on ventilators.
Over2,104 hospitalized patients were required to get 6 milligram daily doses of the drug for up to 10 days. Whereas 4,321 patients were assigned to receive usual care, death rates were compared after 28 days.
According to the study, patients on ventilators were compared. It was found that the rate of death for patients on the drug was 29.3 percent compared to 41.4 percent on those without. A 29 percent decrease in mortality was seen.
In patients who were on oxygen but through less invasive ways, smaller benefits were smaller. It was found that 23.3 percent on dexamethasone whereas 26.2 were not on it.
However, patients having mild symptoms of coronavirus received no benefit from dexamethasone.
Top US health expert Dr. Anthony Fauci recommended that dexamethasone should not be consumed too soon after the person tests positive.
He said, “It had no effect, if not maybe even a suggestion of making things worse early on,”
“This is perfectly compatible with knowing that early on in infection, you need the immune system to suppress the virus.”
The authors of the paper, which appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, said that getting advantages from the drug “is dependent on a selection of the right dose, at the right time, in the right patient.” They also mentioned that for patients who need oxygen, the abnormal immune response seems more responsible for harm than the replication of the virus in the body.