News18 explains how this drug works and the trial being carried out to test its efficacy.
Dexamethasone, a cheap and widely used steroid, has become the first drug shown to be able to save lives among COVID-19 patients in what scientists hailed as a "major breakthrough". India has not officially recommended its use so far.
A new review of neurological symptoms of COVID-19 patients in current scientific literature reveals the disease poses a global threat to the entire nervous system, reports a Northwestern Medicine study published this week in Annals of Neurology.
These antibodies can then be mass-produced, using biotech methods, as a treatment that blocks severe disease and as a vaccine-like preventive that circulates in the blood for several weeks to protect against infection.
The RECOVERY trial also examined the effectiveness of lopinavir-titonavir, commonly used to treat HIV, hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, an antibiotic, tocilizumab an anti-inflammatory treatment, and convalescent plasma.
After months of clinical testing at England's University of Oxford, researchers believe they have found a drug that will help patients suffering from severe cases of coronavirus. That's why the top-line results of this trial have been rushed out - because the implications are so huge globally.
Study authors found that it cut the risk of death from 40% to 28% for patients on ventilators.
Among the patients who received usual care alone, mortality was highest in those who required ventilation (41 per cent), intermediate in those patients who required oxygen only (25 per cent), and lowest among those who did not require any respiratory intervention (13%), the scientists said. It reduced deaths by 35 per cent in patients who needed treatment with breathing machines and by 20 per cent in those only needing supplemental oxygen.
"We have been burned before, not just during the coronavirus pandemic but even pre-COVID, with exciting results that when we have access to the data are not as convincing", said Dr. Kathryn Hibbert, director of the medical intensive care unit at Harvard's Massachusetts General Hospital.
A new study showed that dexamethasone has reduced deaths by one-third in ventilated patients, and by one-fifth in patients with coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) receiving oxygen.
"This is an extremely welcome result". Patients who did not require respiratory support apparently did not benefit from the drug.
Dexamethasone has been used since the early 1960s to treat a wide range of conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and asthma.
As the world struggles to flatten the curve of the novel coronavirus, a low-priced drug is appearing to offer some medical respite from the Covid-19 pandemic.