Breakthrough as researchers discover Life saving drug which successfully treated Coronavirus infected patients In latest trial.
Researchers at the University of Oxford have discovered a life saving drug to successfully treat patients suffering from severe respiratory complications.
The drug, a readily available corticosteroids called Dexamethasone was found to reduce the risk of death by up to one-third among coronavirus patients with advanced respiratory complications.
Trials conducted found the drug could improve the survival rate of coronavirus patients who relied on oxygen or ventilators to help them breathe, but researchers also concluded the drug had no effect on patients who didn’t require any assisted breathing.
“Based on these results, one death would be prevented by treatment of around eight ventilated patients or around 25 patients requiring oxygen alone,” university of oxford researchers stated.
Dexamethasone, which is a relatively affordable drug only costs $25 in the United States and approximately $0.5 in India. The drug was first synthesised in 1957 and was approved for medical use in 1961.
Although the drug is under the World Health Organisations list of essential medicines, it’s believed long term use of the drug may cause bone loss, thrush, cataracts and muscle weakness.
The drug has successfully been used to treat many inflammator and autoimmune conditions, such as rheumatoid-arthritis and bronchospasm and has been regarded as a drug which can be used to treat a broad spectrum of medical conditions.
During trials of the drug a randomised group of 2,104 patients were given 6mg of dexamethasone per day for 10 days. Preliminary results showed Dexamethasone was found to reduce deaths by 20 percent in patients relying on oxygen feeds and by 35 percent patients who required a ventilator to breathe.
“We’ve looked at the numbers and if we treat eight patients in intensive care with this drug, we will save one life.” said Peter Horby, a professor at Oxford University.
Martin Landry, who is a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Oxford University said; “These preliminary results from the Recovery Trial are very clear – dexamethasone reduces the risk of death among patients with severe respiratory complications”.
Researchers at the university of Oxford are now working to publish their findings in detail.
There are now calls called to make the drug available to anyone around the world who needs it, which is not impossible due to the drug being simple to produce and scale.