Steroid first drug shown to save lives of severest COVID-19 cases

Modesto Morganelli
Giugno 16, 2020

"Dexamethasone is the first drug to be shown to improve survival in COVID-19", Professor at the University of Oxford and one of the chief investigators for the trial, Peter Horby said in a statement. Over 11,500 patients have been enrolled from over 175 National Health Service (NHS) hospitals in the UK.

Other patients received the HIV combo drug lopinavir-ritonavir, the antibiotic azithromycin; the anti-inflammatory drug tocilizumab, or plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients.

Dexamethasone "is not a wonder pill, but it will lessen some of the nasty effects of COVID-19". This is an extremely welcome result.

"Dexamethasone is cheap, on the shelf, and can be used immediately to save lives worldwide", he said.

According to WebMd, the cost of dexamethasone with a coupon ranges from $5 to $10. He added that the drug should now become the standard treatment for patients with Covid-19 who need oxygen.

In the trial, led by a team from Oxford University, 2,104 patients were given dexamethasone and were compared with 4,321 patients who did not receive the drug.

"Significant reduction in mortality in those requiring oxygen or ventilation from a widely available, safe and well known drug".

"Dexamethasone must now be rolled out and accessed by thousands of critically ill patients around the world", said Cammack, who had no role in the study.

Any life-threatening illness that's landed people in intensive care can lead to cognitive and psychological complications including delirium and PICS due to limited oxygen intake, sedative medication, and being in a unusual environment where patients don't know day from night.

"This is a result that shows that if patients who have COVID-19 and are on ventilators or are on oxygen are given dexamethasone, it will save lives, and it will do so at a remarkably low cost", said Martin Landray, an Oxford University professor co-leading the trial, known as the RECOVERY trial.

A trial launched in March 2020 has released its results, finding that dexamethasone reduced deaths of ventilated COVID-19 patients by one-third.

The drug, which is "instantly available and affordable worldwide" and is also a steroid, was found to reduce deaths in patients receiving oxygen by one-fifth and those on ventilators by one-third, according to preliminary results released Tuesday.

Leaders of the United Kingdom -based study, known as the Randomized Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy (RECOVERY) trial, said that they will publish the data soon, The Associated Press reported.

Trials of treatment of the anti-arthritis drug hydroxychloroquine were halted in several countries after a major study in The Lancet medical journal suggested it showed no benefit among COVID-19 patients and even increased the risk of death.

The Recovery trial also studied the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, but discontinued its use "due to lack of efficacy". The drug helps stop some of the damage that can happen when the body's immune system goes into overdrive as it tries to fight off coronavirus.

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