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COVID-19 update: Dexamethasone proves first life-saving drug

Researchers in England claim that a drug may improve the survival of COVID-19 – a steroid called dexamethasone that reduces deaths in critically ill-hospitalized patients by up to one-third.

According to researchers who evaluated the efficiency of the inexpensive drug in over 2,100 patients, low doses of steroid dexamethasone will minimize death by 1/3 in COVID-19 ventilated patients.

Results were announced and released early by scientists on Tuesday. The study was a massive, systematic test that randomly assigned 2,104 patients to receive the medication and compared 4,321 patients to receive only normal treatment.

The analysis is a part of the RECOVERY (Randomized Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy) test that was conducted to test a range of potentials for COVID-19 therapies, including steroid treatment, low-dosing dexamethasone.

The drug was given orally or in IV form. Deaths were decreased by 35% in patients who required treatment with breathing equipment and by 20% in those who needed only extra oxygen. It did not seem to help patients with less illness.

A study from the University of Oxford reported that RECOVERY included over 11,500 patients treated in over 175 hospitals in the UK. Dexamethasone was found to minimize deaths in ventilated patients by one-third and in other patients with only oxygen by one-fifth.

Researchers, however, indicated that dexamethasone was not beneficial to patients who did not require breathing aid.

These results show that the medicine can prevent nearly one death in around eight ventilated patients or around 25 patients who need oxygen alone.
The medicine is on the market, inexpensive and can be used directly to save lives worldwide, according to scientists.



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