A steroid called dexamethasone, which is an inexpensive and widely available drug, could help "save the lives of patients seriously ill with coronavirus."
Researchers in the UK say they have found the first evidence of a drug that can improve the survival rate of COVID-19. A steroid called dexamethasone, which is a cheap and widely available drug, could help "save the lives of patients seriously ill with coronavirus," reports BBC News. Per experts, nearly 2000 patients were administered low doses of the inexpensive drug during this experimental treatment. On assessing the performance of the drug, which is now part of the world's biggest trial testing existing treatments, they found that it can reduce death by one-third of COVID-19 on ventilators and by a fifth for those on oxygen.
This is the most important trial result for COVID-19 so far. Significiant reduction in mortality in those requiring oxygen or ventilation from a widely available, safe and well known drug. Many thanks to those who took part and made it happen. It will save lives around the world. https://t.co/zRIaHulHOe— Professor Chris Whitty (@CMO_England) June 16, 2020
The results of this trial led by a team of researchers from Oxford University were announced on Tuesday and it was revealed that the study would be published soon. In the due course of the experiment about 2,000 hospital patients were administered dexamethasone and the results were compared with over 4,000 who given only the usual care. The analysis which is a part of RECOVERY (Randomised Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy), showed a reduction in the death of patients on ventilators from 40% to 28%. For patients on oxygen, it cut down the risk of deaths by 20% from 25%.
Dexamethasone saves lives in COVID-19. RECOVERY trial shows dexamethasone decreases risk of death in those needing oxygen by 20%, and by 35% in those on a ventilator. On the shelf, cheap and can be taken by everyone - a real breakthrough.— Peter Horby (@PeterHorby) June 16, 2020
"This is the only drug so far that has been shown to reduce mortality - and it reduces it significantly. It's a major breakthrough," shared chief investigator Prof Peter Horby. Based on this experimental trial, lead researcher Professor Martin Landray said that the results suggested that the drug treatment could save one patient in every eight patients on a ventilator, and every 20-25 treated with oxygen. "There is a clear, clear benefit," he expressed, adding how inexpensive the drug actually is. "The treatment is up to 10 days of dexamethasone and it costs about £5 per patient. So essentially it costs £35 to save a life. This is a drug that is globally available."
This is dexamethasone, it's a cheap and globally available drug that can help save the lives of people seriously ill with coronavirus. It's a major breakthrough in the fight against the deadly virus,according to UK scientists.this life-saving #Covid_19 pic.twitter.com/7nHQCTyTCn— Divyanshu Trivedi (@divyanshutrive) June 17, 2020
Researchers say that the drug could have helped save up to 5,000 lives had it been used to treat patients in the UK right from the beginning of the pandemic. According to the outlet, Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed these results called for a celebration for "a remarkable British scientific achievement." He added, "We have taken steps to ensure we have enough supplies, even in the event of a second peak." Even Professor Chris Whitty Chief Medical Officer for England said that it would save lives.
Professor Peter Horby, who led the breakthrough trial in dexamethasone, says studies show the drug can save the lives of up to 35% of Covid-19 patients on a ventilator https://t.co/oeTovBXL69 pic.twitter.com/28NZPxcYka— ITV News (@itvnews) June 16, 2020
Dexamethasone is not new and expensive medicine. It has been in use as the early 1960s to treat a number of conditions, including asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Due to its inexpensiveness, the drug could be quite beneficial for poor countries that have a large number of COVID-19 patients. But it's not advisable to purchase Dexamethasone and take it home unless it's prescribed by the doctor as the drug does not appear to be helpful for patients who have milder symptoms of coronavirus or don't need any help breathing. It's important to remember that about 19 in 20 patients recover from the virus without being hospitalized.
It is confirmed it actually helps via science, it can be applied on systematic basis, and thus improving care and save lives.— Pēteris Krišjānis (@pecisk) June 16, 2020
That is that breaktrough. There is another good tool for doctors to use to help people.
Many of the patients who are admitted recover, but for the high-risk ones who require external ventilation dexamethasone could be helpful. Experts say that the medicine appeared to have helped reduce some of the damages in the body when its immune system goes into overdrive in an attempt to fight off coronavirus. This breakthrough is certainly something to celebrate as it could reduce the number of deaths in critical patients suffering from the virus.
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