After researchers have reportedly claimed that the use of low-cost dexamethasone drug can decrease the death rate among the COVID-19 patients, there has been a wide-spread discussion regarding the drug.
What is dexamethasone, for which diseases it is used for?
Dexamethasone is a widely used anti-inflammatory drug under conditions where the body’s immune system does not properly work like in cases of inflammation and tissue damage. It falls in the category of drugs that replicate hormones produced by the adrenal glands of the human body (corticosteroids). It is generally used in cases of lung diseases, treating cancer patients for nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy drugs, reducing swelling, eye inflammation and kidney inflammation.
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Does this drug guarantee effective treatment of coronavirus patients?
As to date no specific treatment for coronavirus has been discovered, doctors across the world are using a combination of different drugs used to treat lung infection for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. As per the recent report by the researchers at Oxford, the use of dexamethasone has reduced the number of deaths in the case of ventilated persons by 1/3rd and in case of patients receiving only oxygen by 1/5th by a trial conducted on 2,104 patients.
As the results show that the effectiveness of the drug is more on patients receiving oxygen and that the drug is not suggested for patients with mild symptoms, the effectiveness overall is less. But as we do not have many options for treatment and the few available are also not that effective, the use of this drug may prove beneficial as it is better to have something than to have nothing at all.