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Steroid drug dexamethasone shows a new ray of hope in treating covid-19

Updated on:22 June 2020, 11:44am IST
After hearing so much negativity around covid-19, the steroid dexamethasone is becoming the reason to cheer and smile.
Team Health Shots
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Dexamethasone might be the drug that can kill coronavirus. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

We all have been witnessing the spike in the graph of covid-19. At times, it seems as though this is never going to end. In fact, the latest news from Beijing suggests that the country has been hit by a second wave of covid-19. But amidst all this there is one news that is giving people some hope and that information revolves around the steroid dexamethasone.

Two researchers in the UK have found that the steroid drug dexamethasone can be helpful in treating critical patients dependent on ventilators or oxygen. 

The research is still in its primary stage and more work is required to make a fool-proof drug for covid-19
“That is a highly statistically significant result,” the CNN quoted Martin Landray, deputy chief investigator of the trial and a professor at the University of Oxford, as saying during a virtual press conference.

He is one of the two lead researchers of the Recovery Trial, a large UK-based trial investigating potential covid-19 treatments.

novel coronavirus
A drug that will prevent novel coronavirus is being discovered. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

He said, “This is a completely compelling result. If one looks at the patients who did not require ventilators but were on oxygen, there was also a significant risk reduction of about one-fifth.”

“However, we did not see any benefit in those patients who were in the hospital, had covid-19, but whose lungs were working sufficiently well—they were not taking either oxygen or on ventilators,” Landray said.

“In the trial, our focus was on mortality, which obviously a drug can affect in either direction, but the overall results in the patients on oxygen and ventilation was a clear benefit. We have looked, for example, were there deaths due to other forms of infection, which are sometimes considered a risk? The answer is no and there was no excess of any other particular cause of death,” he added.

Landray also mentioned that dexamethasone was provided at a dose of 6 mg once a day for up to 10 days, administered either as an injection or taken orally.

The good news is that no serious complications were seen among the patients taking dexamethasone.

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As per the latest data by Johns Hopkins University, the total number of coronavirus cases globally stands at 8,075,962 and 437,939 people have succumbed to the disease so far.

The bottom line is…
Many medicines like hydroxychloroquine were found to have a solution for covid-19 patients, but WHO had to halt its trial due to various complications like blood clotting. 

A study published in The Lancet found that using hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for covid-19 actually increased the patient’s risk of heart disease and dying.

hydroxychloroquine
Hydroxychloroquine might not be a safe bet for covid-19. Image courtesy: Shutterstock.

We need to understand that we can only fight covid-19 by being patient and vigilant till the time we get a proper vaccine to beat it. 

We have to follow measures like social distancing and washing hands so that we don’t become a part of those numbers that are rising with every passing day. Till then, all we can hope for is this trial, and many others like it, to show some positive results. 

(With inputs from ANI)

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