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Dexamethasone Reduces Mortality in Severe COVID

Jun 16, 2020 7:14 pm

Preliminary results released today shows dexamethasone (DEX), given to hospitalized, severly ill, COVID-19 patients, is capable of reducing mortality rates by 30%, with researchers calling this a “major breakthrough” in coronavirus management.

The results stem from a UK trial, called the RECOVERY trial, launched in March 2020, compared outcomes of around 2100 patients who were randomly assigned to DEX treatment compared with 4,300 patients not on placebo. 

Full data has yet to be released, yet the Oxford University researchers claimed the mortality benefit of DEX was most striking among critically ill patients on ventilators. Those who were receiving oxygen therapy but were not on ventilators also saw improvement (mortality risk reduced by 20%). The steroid had no effect on people with mild cases of COVID-19 — those not requiring oxygen or respiratory support.

The UK government has promptly authorized use of DEX in hospitalized COVID-19 patients requiring ventilation or oxygen.

The data needs to be peer-reviewed and confirmed, but this could become a standard of care for the most severe COVID-19 patients.


The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject

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