Low dose dexamethasone is now a major breakthrough regarding treatment of Covid-19 researchers in the UK say. It has been reported to have reduced the risk of death by a third for patients on ventilators and for those on oxygen, it reduces deaths by a fifth.
The UK government has 200,000 courses of the drug in its stockpile and says dexamethasone will be made available to patients. Prime Minister Boris Johnson we should be celebrating “a remarkable British scientific achievement”, and that “We have taken steps to ensure we have enough supplies, even in the event of a second peak.” Chief Medical Officer for England Prof Chris Whitty has said that the drug it will “save lives around the world.”
Dexamethasone drug is already used to reduce inflammation and it appears to help stop some of the damage from when the body’s immune system tried to fight off coronavirus.
In the trial at Oxford University, about 2,000 hospital patients were given the drug and were then compared with more than 4,000 who were not given the drug.
- For patients on ventilators, it cut the risk of death from 40% to 28%.
- For patients needing oxygen, it cut the risk of death from 25% to 20%.
Chief investigator Prof Peter Horby said: “This is the only drug so far that has been shown to reduce mortality – and it reduces it significantly. It’s a major breakthrough.”
Turns out the first drug proven to cut deaths from Covid-19 is not a new experimental drug, rather a drug that’s been in use since the 60s.
This is a developing story and we will continue to follow up with more information regarding Dexamethasone’s efficacy at treating Covid-19 patients. Be sure to check back at the ABN blog for updates.