Sign of hope? Dexamethasone shown to reduce mortality in COVID-19 patients

Imagef from Asia Society
  • A cheap drug promises to be a life-saving treatment for high-risk patients
  • Dexamethasone is an inexpensive and commonly available steroid
  • The British government has already approved its use to positive results

If initial test result is finally and officially peer reviewed and published, a cheap and commonly used drug could be the first life-saving treatment for critically-ill COVID-19 patients.

Medical researchers in the United Kingdom said the British government has recently approved the use of dexamethasone, a corticosteroid, which has shown to reduce mortality rate by 35% in patients on ventilator and 20% in patients requiring only oxygen.

Image from DailyMed

However, the benefit is seen to affect only severely-ill patients and not observed on patients with milder symptoms; the World Health Organization (WHO) clarified .

Dexamethasone is an inexpensive and commonly available steroid that has been in use since the 1960s. It is a drug known to reduce inflammation in several conditions such as inflammatory disorders and certain cancers.

Researchers at the University of Oxford in England said this could be a major breakthrough in the race to find the treatment to coronavirus as the world struggles with the growing number of confirmed COVID-19 victims, now at 8-million; more than 430,000 of whom have already succumbed to the disease.

Image from FreeEducator

“Dexamethasone is the first drug to be shown to improve survival in Covid-19. The survival benefit is clear and large in those patients who are sick enough to require oxygen treatment,” said Peter Horby; a professor of emerging infectious diseases at the University of Oxford and one of the trial’s chief investigators.

WHO welcomes positive result

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has welcomed the preliminary clinical test result on Dexamethasone as a potential life-saving treatment to critically ill COVID-19 patients.

WHO SecGen Dr. Tedros Adhanom GhebreyesusI Mage from UN News

“This is the first treatment to be shown to reduce mortality in patients with COVID-19 requiring oxygen or ventilator support,” said WHO secretary-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

WHO said it is looking forward to the full data analysis and is now preparing to coordinate a meta-analysis to increase their understanding of this positive recent development.

Source :

NYT, BBC, Inquirer, WHO