In a major breakthrough in Covid-19 treatment, scientists in UK have claimed that the generic steroid drug dexamethasone reduced deaths by up to one third in severely ill hospitalised patients. The results are a part of UK-based RECOVERY trial, one of the world’s largest randomised trial of drugs to treat COVID-19 patients.
This is the same study that earlier this month showed the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine was not working against the coronavirus.
In the trial, led by a team from Oxford University, 2,104 patients were given dexamethasone and were compared with 4,321 patients who did not receive the drug. The drug is shown to cut the risk of death by a third for patients on ventilators and for those on oxygen, it cuts deaths by a fifth.
“This is the only drug so far that has been shown to reduce mortality – and it reduces it significantly. It’s a major breakthrough,” BBC quoted chief investigator Prof Peter Horby as saying.
“Dexamethasone is inexpensive, on the shelf, and can be used immediately to save lives worldwide,” one study leader, Peter Horby of the University of Oxford, said.
There are currently no approved treatments or Vaccines for Covid-19, the illness caused by the new Coronavirus which has killed more than 431,000 globally.