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Dexamethasone drug emerges as a fresh hope in fight against COVID-19

Dexamethasone drug emerges as a fresh hope in fight against COVID-19

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By Priyanka Sharma
New Delhi [India], June 17 (ANI): United Kingdom's RECOVERY trial has emerged as a new hope in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic with researchers claiming that dexamethasone, the inexpensive and widely available steroid is the first drug that has proven to reduce deaths in COVID-19 patients.
A doctor at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said that the clinical trial has given a fresh ray of hope in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
The University of Oxford on Tuesday released results of the Randomised Evaluation of COVid-19 thERapY (RECOVERY) trial which said that dexamethasone reduced deaths by one-third in ventilated patients and by one fifth in other patients receiving only oxygen. However, there was no benefit seen in patients who did not require respiratory support.
"Overall dexamethasone reduced the 28-day mortality rate by 17 per cent with a highly significant trend showing greatest benefit among those patients requiring ventilation," it said.
Based on these results, one death would be prevented by treatment of around 8 ventilated patients or around 25 patients requiring oxygen alone, read the statement.
Speaking to ANI, Dr Arvind Kumar, Chairman, Centre for Chest Surgery and Director at the Institute of Robotic Surgery at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said: "Research done in the UK using dexamethasone drug on COVID-19 patients motivates other doctors that there is still hope. This drug has been in the ICU use for many decades. We have been using dexamethasone drug on COVID-19 patients since the crisis started."
"But most importantly, I want to highlight that- dexamethasone drug should be used only on patients dependent on oxygen supply and on a ventilator under the close watch of doctors. It is a steroid and when administered for a long time it can reduce the body's immunity. Hence, it is not for use of the general public and no self-medication," said Dr Kumar.
"We @WHO welcome results from a large RCT, that dexamethasone reduces mortality among the most severe #COVID19 patients. Focus must be on saving lives and preventing new infections Coronavirus breakthrough: dexamethasone is first drug shown to save lives," tweeted Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist, World Health Organization.
In March 2020, the RECOVERY trial was established as a randomised clinical trial to test a range of potential treatments for COVID-19, including low-dose Dexamethasone (a steroid treatment). Over 11,500 patients were enrolled from over 175 NHS hospitals in the UK.
Among the several treatment arms, one of the arms included low-dose dexamethasone.
A total of 2104 patients were randomised to receive Dexamethasone 6 mg once per day for ten days and were compared with 4321 patients randomised to usual care alone.
"Among the patients who received usual care alone, 28-day mortality was highest in those who required ventilation (41 per cent), intermediate in those patients who required oxygen only (25 per cent), and lowest among those who did not require any respiratory intervention (13 per cent)," said press statement adding that the trial was done in the hospital setting and follow-up is complete for over 94 per cent of participants.
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, said: "Dexamethasone is the first drug to be shown to improve survival in COVID-19. 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 the standard of care in these patients. Dexamethasone is inexpensive, on the shelf, and can be used immediately to save lives worldwide." (ANI)

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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uk recovery Recovery Trial COVID-19 mortality dexamethasone

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