Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza has said a technical team in Pakistan will consider using Dexamethasone medicine to treat those critically ill with COVID-19.
In his tweet today, State Health Minister Dr Zafar Mirza pointed out the World Health Organization (WHO) has welcomed the initial clinical trial results from the United Kingdom that show dexamethasone can be lifesaving for patients who are critically ill with COVID-19.
Dr Zafar Mirza said it is an old and cheap anti-inflammatory medicine (steroid) and we have multiple producers in Pakistan.
The Special Assistant, however, warned dexamethasone is only for critically ill COVID-19 patients who are on oxygen and ventilators. He said the medicine must not be used by mild to moderate patients and that self-medication is strictly prohibited and can be dangerous as the medicine has many side-effects.
PLEASE NOTE: It is ONLY FOR critically ill COVID-19 patients ie those on oxygen and ventilators; the medicine MUST NOT be used by mild to moderate patients; self-medication is strictly prohibited and can be dangerous as the medicine has many side-effects.
— Zafar Mirza (@zfrmrza) June 17, 2020
Earlier initial clinical trial results from the United Kingdom (UK) that show dexamethasone, a corticosteroid, can be lifesaving for patients who are critically ill with then novel COVID-19
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.