COVID-19: New Life-Saving Drug Identified

Medically reviewed by | By

Update Date 18/06/2020 . 2 mins read
Share now

The latest drug that could help the world win the fight against COVID-19 is one that’s been around all along.

The potentially life-saving drug is Dexamethasone, a low-dose generic steroid treatment that’s been around for over 50 years.

According to medical experts in the United Kingdom, the commonly used drug was found to have cut the risk of mortality in COVID-19 patients on ventilators, or those with severe symptoms, by a third.

Some of the most severe symptoms of COVID-19 include shortness of breath, chest pain, loss of speech, inability to move, or severe respiratory distress.

Since dexamethasone is widely available and affordable in most countries, this latest discovery could prove valuable for countries still struggling with the burden of steadily rising cases.

Dexamethasone and COVID-19: How Does it Work?

In use since the 1960s, Dexamethasone has been proven to reduce inflammation in conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and asthma.

UK experts observed that low doses of the generic drug helped lessen deaths in those with severe cases of COVID-19.

They noted how the drug can help control the damage caused by the cytokine storm, a hyper-active immune response commonly seen in those with COVID-19.

COVID-19: All You Need To Know

The Clinical Trial: Dexamethasone and COVID-19

Though the findings are preliminary and pending peer reviews, experts are hailing the clinical trial a breakthrough.

For the clinical trial, researchers from Oxford University observed 6,000 patients. Of this number, 4,000 were given standard hospital treatment without dexamethasone, while the other 2,000 were given the steroid along with other types of treatment.

They found that treatment cut the risk of death by 28% (from 48%) in patients on ventilators and by 20% (from 25%) in patients needing oxygen.

These findings prompted researchers to recommend that hospital patients be treated with the drug as soon as possible. But of course, as with any new discovery, more time and research are needed to cement these findings.

So far, dexamethasone does not appear to address milder cases of coronavirus.

The Latest COVID-19 Treatments

Another promising drug when it comes to speeding up recovery from COVID-19 is Remdesivir. But unlike Dexamethasone, this drug isn’t as widely available. Favipiravir, a drug from Japan, has also been found to improve symptoms faster.

Other drugs used to address COVID-19 symptoms are hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine. But recent reports show these drugs come with a high risk of heart disease or even, death. So healthcare professionals administer this treatment with care.

Convalescent Plasma Therapy has also been found effective in reducing recovery time. This treatment involves extracting plasma from those who have recovered from COVID-19 and then using it to treat those still battling the condition.

So far, there is no confirmed vaccine or cure for COVID-19. But these latest discoveries offer hope and encouragement that the search will someday be over.

Find more updates and information on COVID-19, here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Was this article helpful for you ?
happy unhappy

You might also like

Most Common Causes of Diarrhea with Fever

We often experience fever and diarrhea separately, but what if they occur together? What are the most common causes of diarrhea with fever?

Medically reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N.
Diarrhea 24/11/2020 . 3 mins read

The Different Types of Cardiomyopathy

What are the different types of cardiomyopathy? Learn more about the different types of cardiomyopathy and their specific characteristics, here.

Medically reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Ruby Anne Hornillos
Cardiomyopathy 24/11/2020 . 3 mins read

Common Causes of Breakthrough Bleeding and Spotting

Women may experience bleeding whether or not they are taking birth control pills. What are the common causes of breakthrough bleeding and spotting?

Medically reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N.
Women's Health Issues 24/11/2020 . 3 mins read

Dementia Causes and Effects: How People Can Develop Dementia

The first step on how to prevent dementia is to first understand the what causes it, and what effects it has on the human brain.

Medically reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Jan Alwyn Batara
Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease 24/11/2020 . 4 mins read

Recommended for you

effects of a caffeine crash

Effects of a Caffeine Crash and How to Avoid Them

Medically reviewed by Stephanie Nicole G. Nera
Written by Stephanie Nicole G. Nera
Published on 26/11/2020 . 3 mins read
Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms

Seasonal Affective Disorder, Symptoms, Risk Factors, and Treatment

Medically reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N.
Published on 26/11/2020 . 4 mins read
what causes spinal pain

What Causes Spinal Pain? Find Out the Answer Here

Medically reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Jan Alwyn Batara
Published on 24/11/2020 . 3 mins read
signs of narcissistic personality disorder

Signs of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Medically reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N.
Published on 24/11/2020 . 4 mins read