Neucrad Health June 21, 2020
There has been some positive development in the COVID-19 treatment in the last few weeks. According to a RECOVERY (Randomised Evaluation of COVid-19 Therapy) trial conducted by the University of Oxford and the State-funded NHS (National Health Service) Hospitals, a low-cost and widely prevalent steroid- dexamethasone can reduce the fatality of COVID-19 victims considerably. Doctors are speculating that if they had conducted this study earlier, then they could have saved many COVID-19 cases. The best part of the use of dexamethasone is it is a widely stable drug, available in all countries, and cost-effective treatment measure. Let us know more about the application of dexamethasone for treating novel coronavirus patients.
Around 11500 patients in more than 175 NHS hospitals enrolled for the study in the United Kingdom. Out of them, the doctors randomly selected 2104 patients for a study involving low-dose dexamethasone for treating COVID-19 infection. There was also another set of 4321 patients undergoing usual coronavirus care. Doctors administered 6 mg dexamethasone once a day to 2104 patients for ten days. Among the patients undergoing standard COVID-19 treatment, 28-day mortality was seen in 41 per cent ventilation victims, 25 per cent undergoing oxygen tubing, and 13 per cent in those without any unique medical procedures.
What was the outcome of the RECOVERY trial of dexamethasone?
The result of this study pointed out that dexamethasone could reduce fatality in about one-third patient undergoing treatments in ventilators, and one-fifth victim receiving oxygen. There was no significant change in the vital parameters of patients who did not require any special medical procedure for managing coronavirus symptoms. After this trial, scientists are presuming that administration of dexamethasone can reduce one death among eight patients receiving ventilators support. It can also prevent one death among 25 patients with oxygen tubing.
What is dexamethasone?
Dexamethasone is a low-dose steroid sold under the brand name- DexPak, Decdan, Daksone, Dexona, and Demisone. In addition to the tablet form, it is also available as injections, eye drops, and eardrops. Physicians usually prescribe dexamethasone for treating inflammation, allergic reactions, arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, and respiratory distress. Patients having cardiac ailments, fungal infection, tuberculosis, and glaucoma should inform the doctor about the medical conditions before administration of this medication. In some cases, it can interfere with your existing issues and cause severe side effects.
How does dexamethasone work on COVID-19 patients?
Most of the coronavirus patients show mild or moderate symptoms and do not require specialised care to manage their condition. However, less than 5 per cent of COVID-19 patients require ICU admission and may also receive oxygen or ventilation support. Dexamethasone administration helps revive these patients. It helps in tackling ‘cytokine storms’ when the immune system releases an excess of cytokines within a short time interval. It causes high fever, severe inflammation and extreme fatigue among patients. Dexamethasone controls the immune system and prevents the development of ‘cytokine storms.’
What are the side-effects of dexamethasone?
Though dexamethasone is a highly stable and reliable drug and has been used by physicians for many years, there are some side-effects of this medicine. Patients must immediately notify their doctors if they experience the below-mentioned reactions.
- a feeling of muscle tightness or weakness
- experiencing tunnel vision, blurred vision, and formation of halo around the objects
- unexplained weight gain
- fast or slow heart rate along with respiratory distress
- nausea and vomiting
- increased blood pressure
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