The World Health Organization (WHO) has welcomed the initial clinical trial results from the United Kingdom (UK) that show dexamethasone, a corticosteroid, can be lifesaving for patients who are critically ill with Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports Fadela Chaib, Communications Officer and Spokesperson of the WHO made this known in a statement on Tuesday, stressing that dexamethasone benefit was only seen in patients seriously ill with COVID-19, and was not observed in patients with milder disease.
According to preliminary findings shared with WHO, for patients on ventilators, the treatment was shown to reduce mortality by about one third, and for patients requiring only oxygen, mortality was cut by about one fifth.
“This is the first treatment to be shown to reduce mortality in patients with COVID-19 requiring oxygen or ventilator support. This is great news and I congratulate the Government of the UK, the University of Oxford, and the many hospitals and patients in the UK who have contributed to this lifesaving scientific breakthrough,” Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said.
TNG reports dexamethasone is a steroid that has been used since the 1960s to reduce inflammation in a range of conditions, including inflammatory disorders and certain cancers.
It has been listed on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines since 1977 in multiple formulations, and is currently off-patent and affordably available in most countries.