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A cheap, old, and easily available steroid drug has been clinically proven to reduce mortality of critically ill coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19) patients.
On June 16, the World Health Organization welcomed the United Kingdom and University of Oxford’s preliminary results about the use of Dexamethasone in treating seriously ill covid-19 patients.
Dexamethasone is a type of corticosteroid medication first made in 1957 and approved for medical use in 1961.
It has been listed on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines since 1977. Currently, the drug is off-patent and affordably available in most countries.
Dexamethasone is used in the treatment of many conditions including:
a number of skin diseases
chronic obstructive lung disease
eye pain following eye surgery
along with antibiotics in tuberculosis
Trial results showed Dexamethasone reduced mortality by about one third (for patients on ventilators) and by about one fifth (for patients requiring only oxygen).
WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “This is the first treatment to be shown to reduce mortality in patients with COVID-19 requiring oxygen or ventilator support.”
In the Philippines, Dexamethasone is available for only P31.50 (Watsons Pharmacy).
What are your thoughts on Dexamethasone?