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Dexamethasone has been shown to be effective in treating severe cases of COVID-19 - WHO
Preliminary results from a study by the University of Oxford have confirmed that an inexpensive anti-inflammatory drug can save patients in need of mechanical ventilation and oxygen.
Ampoules with dexamethasone / Photo: melvil / Wikipedia
Clinical trials of dexamethasone (a corticosteroid) have shown that the death rate of patients on a ventilator is reduced by about a third under the influence of the drug, and the death rate of patients requiring oxygen by one-fifth. The study was conducted in 2000 patients who were given dexamethasone. Their condition was compared with another 4,000 patients receiving placebo. The WHO report emphasizes that the drug has shown its effectiveness only in the treatment of patients with severe COVID-19.
“This is the first treatment to reduce mortality in COVID-19 patients who require oxygen support or mechanical ventilation. This is great news, and I congratulate the UK government, Oxford University, hospitals and patients who have contributed to this life-saving scientific breakthrough,”said WHO chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
In the near future, the researchers will present a full analysis of the obtained data on the effectiveness of the drug, after which the WHO clinical guidelines for the treatment of patients with COVID-19 will be updated.
Dexamethasone is a steroid that has been used since the 1960s to reduce inflammation in certain diseases, including certain types of cancer. Since 1977, the drug has been included in the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines and is available in most countries.
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