Russia says it already uses dexamethasone to treat coronavirus patients
Russia already uses dexamethasone to treat patients with the novel coronavirus, but does not view it as a panacea against COVID-19, Russian health ministry official Sergei Avdeev said, RIA news agency reports.
Dexamethasone, a cheap and widely used steroid, has become the first drug shown to be able to save the lives of critically ill COVID-19 patients.
WHO will update its guidelines
The World Health Organization (WHO) said it was moving to update its guidelines on treating people stricken with COVID-19 to reflect results of a clinical trial that showed the cheap steroid can help save critically ill patients, Reuters reports.
The WHO’s clinical guidance for treating patients infected with the new coronavirus is aimed at doctors and other medical professionals and seeks to use the latest data to inform clinicians on how best to tackle all phases of the disease, from screening to discharge.
The drug should immediately become standard care
Although the dexamethasone study’s results are preliminary, the researchers behind the project said it suggests the drug should immediately become standard care in severely stricken patients.
For patients on ventilators, the treatment was shown to reduce mortality by about one third, and for patients requiring only oxygen, mortality was cut by about one fifth, according to preliminary findings shared with WHO.