The use of dexamethasone, which is used to reduce inflammation in other diseases such as arthritis, has been approved for patients who require oxygen and those who have an excessive inflammatory response.
- The government on Saturday authorized the use of dexamethasone, a low-cost steroid, as an alternative to methylprednisolone to treat coronavirus patients with moderate and severe symptoms.
- Union Department of Health has published a revised version of the “Clinical Management Protocol: COVID-19”, a document published for the use of health professionals as a reference. Earlier this month, the ministry added loss of smell and taste as new symptoms of COVID-19 in the manual.
- The World Health Organization has called for a rapid increase in the production of dexamethasone after British clinical trials have found that it can save lives in critically ill coronavirus patients.
- Dexamethasone, a low-dose steroid, has been on the market for more than 60 years and is generally used to reduce inflammation.
- Recently, researchers led by a team from the University of Oxford administered dexamethasone to more than 2,000 critically ill patients hospitalized with the new coronavirus. Among those who could only breathe with the help of a ventilator, it reduced deaths by 35%.
- WHO stresses that dexamethasone should only be used for patients with severe or critical illness, under close clinical supervision.
“In patients with progressive deterioration of oxygenation indicators, rapid worsening on imaging and excessive activation of the body’s inflammatory response, glucocorticoids can be used for a short period of time (3 to 5 days). It is recommended that the dose should not exceed the equivalent of methylprednisolone 1-2mg/kg/day or dexamethasone 0.2-0.4 mg/kg/day. Note that a larger dose of glucocorticoid will delay the removal of coronavirus due to immunosuppressive effects,”Health ministry new guidelines says.
- Dexamethasone medication reduces the number of deaths in those who need oxygen by 20% and by 35% in those who use a ventilator. Also, it is an over-the-counter medication available to everyone.
- The results of the UK randomized evaluation trial of Covid-19 therapy (RECOVERY) have raised hopes of the ability of existing and reused drugs to mitigate the impact of Covid.
- India is a bulk manufacturer of dexamethasone. A strip of 20 tablets of 0.5 mg each by Zydus Cadila is available for Rs 6.38. With accessibility and accessibility, dexamethasone could revolutionize Covid’s critical care globally and reduce mortality.
- The RECOVERY trial began in March as a randomized clinical trial to evaluate a variety of potential treatments for Covid-19, including low-dose dexamethasone (a steroid treatment) and more than 11,500 patients from 175 hospitals in the National Health Service from the UK has signed up.
- A total of 2,104 patients were randomized to receive 6 mg dexamethasone once daily (orally or by intravenous injection) for 10 days and compared with 4,321 patients randomized to receive routine care alone.
- Dexamethasone reduced deaths by one third in ventilated patients and one fifth in other patients who received only oxygen. Based on these results, treating approximately eight ventilated patients or approximately 25 oxygen-only patients would prevent one death, said study leader Peter Horby.