A low-cost steroid lowered fatalities rate from the coronavirus infection, helping a couple of the sickest sufferers with serious lung damage endure through the illness, as per British clinical test results announced on Tuesday in a news release.
Based on the news release, this 60-year-old drug, dexamethasone, is the first medication that has proved to improve the patient’s possibilities of surviving the deadly COVID-19, the disease developed from coronavirus. This drug has lowered the risk of fatalities for sufferers on ventilators by a third and has even reduced the threat of fatalities for patients on oxygen by a fifth, encouraging piece of news that attracted extensive interest and hope.
British regulatory bodies quickly adopted the drug for use in hospitalized patients needing oxygen, and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson proclaimed the outcome, announcing that there was “genuine cause to celebrate a remarkable British scientific achievement and the benefits it will bring not just in this country but around the world.”
Dexamethasone is a workhorse steroid that is generally used to treat inflammation, to treat flare-ups of rheumatoid arthritis. This drug was given as a tablet, liquid, or as an intravenous formulation in the trial. Adding to this, several other steroids are also being tested against COVID-19.
Foreign physicians tempered their encouragement concerning this news with urgent calls to release specific details of researchers’ conclusions so doctors could concentrate on this information data and figure out the advantages and the disadvantages of this drug.
Isaac Bogoch, an infectious diseases specialist at Toronto General Hospital said, “If this is reproducible and if it pans out, it’s a huge win — but that’s a lot of ‘ifs,’” He further added, “It’s cheap as borscht, as my grandparents would say. It’s widely available. Every single physician on the planet that practices hospital-based medicine is comfortable using this drug.”
But without full proof details from the test, physicians like Bogoch are in a tough predicament. Bogoch told that if a COVID-19 patient walked into the hospital, he is unsure of whether he would use the drug or if he had to wait for more detailed information on the same.
However, the recent treatment directions from the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health suggested to not use steroids owing to the lack of evidence that the advantage of the drugs surpasses potential harm.
On Tuesday, Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, stated in an interview that a group of professionals who devise guidelines on treating COVID-19 is already scheduling to meet and to assess the data and also evaluate whether these suggestions should be modified.
“That’s the whole purpose of the guidelines panel, which can meet on the drop of a dime,” Fauci added.