BREAKING NEWS! Dexamethasone Improves Survival Rates Of Severe COVID-19 Patients According To University Of Oxford
Dexamethasone and COVID-19
: Medical researchers from University Of Oxford-England say they have the first evidence that the cheap steroid Dexamethasone can improve COVID-19 survival in patients with severe conditions. https://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2020-06-16-dexamethasone-reduces-death-hospitalised-patients-severe-respiratory-complications
The British researchers have found that low-dose dexamethasone is a major breakthrough in the fight against the deadly virus COVID 19. Dexamethasone cuts the risk of death by a third for patients on ventilators and for those on oxygen, it cut deaths by a fifth. The drug research is a part of recovery Trial a national clinical trial that aims to identify treatments that may be beneficial for individuals hospitalized with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
The clinical trial results were announced today (16th
June) and researchers said they would publish them soon. The clinical research is a large, detailed stringent test that randomly assigned 2,104 patients to get the drug and compared them with 4,321 patients getting only standard care. The drug was given either orally or through an IV. It reduced deaths by 35% in patients who needed treatment with breathing machines and by 20% in those only needing supplemental oxygen. It did not appear to help less ill patients.
The drug dexamethasone is already used to reduce inflammation in a range of other conditions, and it appears that it 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.
Dexamethasone is the first drug proven to cut deaths from COVID-19 and is not some new, expensive pharmaceutical but an old, cheap steroid.
This is something to be optimistic about as it means patients across the world could benefit immediately. That's why the top-line results of this trial have been rushed out because the implications are so huge globally.
The steroid Dexamethasone has been used since the early 1960s to treat a wide range of conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. Half of all COVID-19 patients who require a ventilator do not survive, so cutting that risk by a third would have a huge impact.
The drug is given intravenously in intensive care, and in tablet form for less seriously ill patients.
One of the researchers, Dr Peter Horby from the University of Oxford told Thailand Medical News through a phone interview,"This is an extremely welcome result.The survival benefit is clear and large in those patients who are sick enough to require oxygen treatment, so dexamethasone should now become standard of care in these patients. Dexamethasone is inexpensive, on the shelf, and can be used immediately to save lives worldwide."
This ongoing extensive clinical trial project was part of the same study that earlier this month showed hydroxychloroquine was not working against the coronavirus. The study enrolled more than 11,000 patients in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who were given either standard of care or that plus one of several treatments: the HIV combo drug lopinavir-ritonavir, the antibiotic azithromycin; the steroid dexamethasone, the anti-inflammatory drug tocilizumab, or plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19 that contains antibodies to fight the virus.
Research is continuing on the other treatments. The research is funded by government health agencies in the United Kingdom and private donors including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
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