Dexamethasone, an inexpensive and commonly used drug, has been shown to be effective in saving lives of patients with the corona virus, and has been hailed by scientists as a major breakthrough.
This medicine is used to reduce the irritation caused by other diseases. The results of the drug’s trials were announced on Tuesday, which showed a one-third reduction in the deaths of critically ill patients with coronavirus.
Experts leading the experiments say the results suggest that the drug should immediately become the standard treatment for critically ill patients with the coronavirus.
Professor Martin Landry of Oxford University co-chaired the experiments, called the Recovery Trial. According to him, the results show that coronavirus patients who are on ventilators or need oxygen, if given dexamethasone, lives can be saved and this can be done at a very low cost. He told reporters in an online briefing that it is very difficult for any other drug to replace dexamethasone.
His colleague Peter Horby said that dexamethasone is still the only drug that has reduced mortality and that this has happened significantly. This is a great development. It is low cost, readily available and can be used immediately to save the lives of patients around the world.
The experiment looked at 2,100 patients who had been given dexamethasone, and 4,300 patients who had not been given the drug.
Martin Landry said the medication saved one in eight patients on the ventilator, while one in every 25 patients on oxygen survived.
Patients who do not need oxygen do not benefit from taking this medicine.
Peter Horby said the benefit of surviving patients forced to take oxygen is clear, so dexamethasone should become the standard treatment for such patients.
The findings will help reduce the impact of the global epidemic on human lives and economies around the world, and save countless lives, said Nick Kemak, an expert at the Welfare Trust.
The recovery trial began in April, prescribing a variety of treatments to coronavirus patients. These included the use of small amounts of dexamethasone and the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine.
Clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine were halted earlier this month because Horby and Landry said the drug was useless for coronavirus patients.