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HomeHealthLow-cost steroid dexamethasone becomes first drug to improve Covid patients’ survival

Low-cost steroid dexamethasone becomes first drug to improve Covid patients’ survival

Deaths among patients who needed assistance breathing were lower over a period of 4 weeks when they received dexamethasone, Oxford researchers said.

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London: A low-cost, widely used anti-inflammatory drug improved survival in patients with Covid-19, the first treatment to show life-saving promise months into the pandemic.

Deaths among patients who needed assistance breathing were lower over a period of four weeks when they received a 60-year-old medicine called dexamethasone than among those who got standard care alone, University of Oxford researchers said Tuesday. The study was stopped early because of its crucial findings.

Doctors and companies are searching for treatments that can help patients survive the new coronavirus, which has killed more than 400,000 people worldwide. Gilead Sciences Inc.’s antiviral remdesivir, which has approval to treat Covid-19, has only demonstrated the ability to shorten patients’ recovery.

“It’s because we’ve backed the science and because we’ve taken an approach that’s guided by the science that we’ve been able to get this result,” U.K. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said in a video attached to a tweet.

The steroid medicine has been available as a generic for decades, which is why it’s cheap. It’s used to treat a range of diseases including rheumatism, asthma, allergies and even to help cancer patients better handle the nausea triggered by chemotherapy.

The dexamethasone research was part of a larger study, called Recovery, that compares a number of potential treatments in an attempt to quickly identify those that are most effective. More than 11,500 patients have been enrolled from over 175 National Health Service hospitals across the U.K.

A number of anti-inflammatories are being studied around the world for helping coronavirus patients cope with a powerful overreaction of the immune system, sometimes called a cytokine storm.

Dexamethasone treatment reduced deaths by a third among patients on ventilators and by a fifth of those receiving oxygen only. There was no benefit among patients who didn’t need breathing support.

“While this study suggests dexamethasone only benefits severe cases, countless lives will be saved globally,” said Nick Cammack, Covid-19 therapeutics accelerator lead at Wellcome, the medical research philanthropy group.

The need for new treatments has been exacerbated as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration revoked emergency-use authorization for two malaria drugs touted by President Donald Trump as Covid-19 treatments this week after determining they were unlikely to work against the virus and could have dangerous side effects. The medications may also interfere with the effectiveness of Gilead’s remdesivir, the agency warned. –Bloomberg

Also read: Why coronavirus treatments shouldn’t take back seat to vaccines


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  1. Trials of drug dexamethasone in Covid-19 cases have brought success in saving lives , claim Oxford University scientists on 16 June 2020.
    According to news reports on 16 June , 2020 , Oxford University Scientists have conducted trials on anti-inflammatory steroid Dexamethasone in Covid-19 cases. Results released by the Oxford University on 16 June 2020 say that the low-cost and easily available drug saves the people seriously infected by Coronavirus , cuts the death risk by a third for those on ventilators and by a fifth for those on oxygen. The commentary on the drug reads like this :-
    “ This is a tremendous news today from the recovery trial showing that dexamethasone is the first drug to reduce mortality from Covid-19. It is particularly exciting as this is an inexpensive widely available medicine. This is a ground breaking development in our fight against the disease and the speed at which researchers have progressed finding an effective treatment , is truly remarkable. It shows importance of doing high quality clinical trials and basing decisions as the results of those trials”.
    Covid-19 has taken into its grip the entire world during first half of the year 2020 , infecting lacs and killing also lacs of its patients. In the absence of an effective drug or vaccine , people had no choice other than to look up to the heavens or scientists to come with some cure. And the drug described here is the first one to respond to the prayer of the global community , it seems. As regards a vaccine , only few are claiming that it can come by the end of the present year 2020. Rather , some are of the view that it may take a larger part of the year 2021 and could even go to mid-2022. Whatever that scenario about prospect of arrival of vaccine to treat Covid-19 may be , the news that was broken on 16 June 2020 by the Oxford University scientists in relation to drug dexamethasone would have sent a wave of strength and hope among people world-wide. And this Vedic astrology writer was spirited for another reason as well – a prediction of when some relief by way of drug to fight Covid-19 may appear , having come accurate in the claim announced by Oxford University on 16 June 2020. This writer had , based on interpretation and application of Vedic astrology , contributed in early April , 2020 an opinion piece – “ Some searchlight on way out of Covid-19 presently tormenting mankind” – to a number of newspapers. It was also contributed on 11 April , 2020 using the ‘ comments’ column of article -‘ Heard Charles took Ayurveda treatment-based Ayush drugs for Covid-19’ – at The text in the opinion piece related to the claim of success announced by Oxford University scientists on 16 June , 2020 , reads like this :-
    “ So reading in between the lines , it can be said that some effective drug or remedy can arrive by mid or towards the last week of June 2020 to provide some relief during July to September 2020 , to some good extent”.
    The point this writer wants to share with readers world-wide is that yes , a drug envisaged in the aforesaid prediction has appeared on the horizon in the claim announcement of Oxord University scientists on 16 June , 2020.

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