Trials of the steroid dexamethasone suggest its viability as an effective method for curing seriously ill COVID-19 patients. Its initial success in trials administered across the U.K. comes as welcome news of a cost effective treatment option, especially as the virus has seen a recent uptick in less affluent nations across Africa and Asia.
The drug is readily available, requires a low dosage, and production can be scaled to account for increased demand globally, according to the BBC.
Researchers have collected evidence finding that after 28 days, the steroid had reduced deaths by 35% in patients using breathing machines and by 20% in those only needing supplemental oxygen. The anti-inflammatory was administered to 2,104 patients, and the results were compared to those of 4,321 patients receiving routine care. (RELATED: Here’s What Doctors Are Using To Treat Coronavirus)
The NIHR-supported RECOVERY trial has shown that dexamethasone, a steroid, significantly reduces the risk of dying from #COVID19 for seriously ill patients requiring respiratory intervention – a major breakthrough https://t.co/KITpXiUcMr#priorityCOVIDresearch pic.twitter.com/W1ifVSPqDM
— NIHR Research (@NIHRresearch) June 16, 2020
These developments were announced by press release Tuesday, and a paper publishing these results is soon to follow according to the Associated Press. The British government moved quickly to authorize dexamethasone’s use across the United Kingdom, however, many experts believe the results should be published before any further significant action is taken to administer the drug as standard care in severe cases.