Dexamethasone, an anti-inflammatory drug, is being hailed as a life-saving drug in fighting the coronavirus.
Results from a randomized, controlled clinical trial at the University of Oxford has found that the cheap and widely available steroid has helped reduce deaths from COVID-19.
According to the study’s researchers, the use of Dexamethasone reduced deaths by one-third in ventilated patients, by one-fifth in patients receiving oxygen and no benefit in patients who did not need support.
‘Dexamethasone is the first drug to be shown to improve survival in COVID-19. This is an extremely welcome result,” said Peter Horby, Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases in the Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, and one of the Chief Investigators for the trial in a statement.
“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.”
These initial results have made the scientists involved confident that this is the correct course of treatment. While they only published partial results, the full results are expected to be released soon.
The UK government has already approved this treatment through their health system, the NHS.
“The positive findings on dexamethasone follow the disappointing findings on hydroxychloroquine. Together these 2 results illustrate the power of properly conducted clinical trials and the inherent danger of assuming things work without robust data,” said UK Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam in a statement.