It may not be flashy or have big pharmaceutical backers, but an old, cheap and widely available steroid is showing it can keep some of the sickest coronavirus patients from dying, United Kingdom researchers say.
If the results of this trial are correct though, the drug doesn't appear to compromise the patient's ability to fight COVID-19; it might just affect their ability to fight off other diseases. Now, researchers working out of Oxford University say the drug reduced deaths by up to one-third for those with respiratory problems from the virus. The NHS has estimated that of all the Covid-19 patients who have been hospitalised, 45% will need ongoing medical care, 4% will need inpatient rehabilitation and 1% will require long-term acute care.
The promising results come as people from the medical and pharmaceutical industries race to find drugs that can treat the virus that has killed more than 435,000 people.
He said: "Corona is worldwide".
This said, it's important to note that their announcement was preliminary in nature: the study's underlying data isn't available yet for independent verification. The prominent Harvard medic, Atul Gawande, best voiced these concerns in his tweet, "After all the retractions and walk backs, it is unacceptable to tout study results by press release without releasing the paper". "The retracted Lancet paper on hydroxychloroquine has taught us that lesson", he added. It can also cause other severe side effects.
In the dexamethasone trial, researchers gave 2,100 randomized coronavirus patients 6 milligrams of dexamethasone once per day, either by mouth or intravenously, for 10 days.
For patients on ventilators, the treatment reduces mortality by about a third and for those requiring only oxygen, mortality was cut by about a fifth, preliminary findings shared with World Health Organization show. It only improved outcomes for patients who had deteriorated to the point they were receiving some form of breathing assistance.
HTC Desire 20 Pro Price in India, Specifications, Comparison (16th June 2020)
The HTC U20 5G is a strong mid-range 5G phone powered by the Snapdragon 765G chipset with an integrated 5G modem. It comes in a single storage variant that offers 8GB RAM and 256GB of internal storage.
The development builds off the WHO Research & Development Blueprint meeting, which took place in Geneva in mid-February to accelerate health technologies for covid-19, where further research into the use of steroids was highlighted as a priority.
"It's quite a curious illness".
Also, the World Health Organization says that "given the lack of effectiveness and possible harm", routine corticosteroids should be avoided unless they are indicated for another reason. "It looks like (dexamethasone) might dampen down some of the inflammation", Cheng said.
Who conducted the COVID-19 trial using dexamethasone? "It shows the importance of doing high quality clinical trials and basing decisions on the results of those trials".
Generally, they have limited side effects and won't be as strong as medications available via prescription.
Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO's technical lead on the COVID-19 pandemic, meanwhile said that governments must depend on solid data in determining how, when and where to ease restrictions on movement and public gatherings - and to be ready to reinstate them, hopefully temporarily.
The trial found the drug had little effect on those with lesser symptoms of the virus. The WHO said that the drug is now off-patent and affordably available in most countries.
It has been widely used around the world since the 1960s, including in Australia, to treat a range of conditions including arthritis, asthma and some skin conditions.