In a major breakthrough in Covid-19 treatment, scientists in UK have claimed that the generic steroid drug dexamethasone reduced deaths by up to one third in severely ill hospitalised patients.
The results are a part of UK-based RECOVERY trial, one of the world’s largest randomised trial of drugs to treat COVID-19 patients.
Earlier the same study had shown that the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine was not working against the coronavirus.
The trial involved participation of 2,104 patients who were given dexamethasone and were compared with 4,321 patients who did not receive the drug.
It was found that the drug cut the risk of death by a third for patients on ventilators. It also cut down the risk by a fifth for those surviving on oxygen.
“This is the only drug so far that has been shown to reduce mortality – and it reduces it significantly. It’s a major breakthrough,” quoted chief investigator Prof Peter Horby.