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Health Ministry recommends the use of Dexamethasone drug for treating COVID-19 patients

The Oxford University on June 17 had announced that Dexamethasone reduced deaths by one third in ventilated patients and by one-fifth in other patients who have been receiving oxygen only.

Jun 29, 2020 13:36 IST
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The Union Health Ministry issued a fresh clinical management protocol on June 27 which recommends the use of Dexamethasone as an alternative to Methylprednisolone for the treatment of moderate to severe COVID-19 patients.

As per the Ministry, the clinical management protocol for managing COVID-19 cases has been updated. The change in the protocol has been made after considering the latest available expert consultation and evidence.

The Oxford University on June 17 had announced that Dexamethasone reduced deaths by one third in ventilated patients and by one-fifth in other patients who have been receiving oxygen only. However, those patients were not benefitted who did not require respiratory support.

What is Dexamethasone?

As per the medical experts, it is a corticosteroid drug that is used in a wide range of conditions for its immunosuppressant and anti-inflammatory effects.

In a press statement, the University of Oxford informed that overall Dexamethasone reduced the 28- day mortality rate by 17 percent with a highly significant trend that shows the greatest benefit among those patients who require ventilation.

Based on the results, one death will be prevented by the treatment of around 8 ventilated patients or around 25 patients who require oxygen alone.

Addition of Dexamethasone in clinical management protocol:

Preeti Sudan, the Union Health Secretary has forwarded the updated protocol with all the states and UTs. It directs to make necessary arrangements for the availability and the updated use of protocol and the Dexamethasone drug at the Institutional level also.

The move was introduced as the Dexamethasone drug was tested in COVID-19 hospitalized patients in the RECOVERY clinical trial and was found to have benefits on the critically ill patients. It has also been shown to reduce mortality by about one-third for patients on ventilators and by one-fifth for the patients who are being maintained on oxygen therapy. The drug is widely available and is also the part of National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM).

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