DEXAMETHASONE could be the wonder drug that save patients seriously ill with Covid-19.
It is a cheap and widely available drug and is part of the world’s biggest trial testing existing treatments to see if they also work for coronavirus, the BBC is reporting.
Dexamethasone is low-dose steroid treatment being seen as a major breakthrough in the fight against the deadly virus, UK experts say.
It cut the risk of death by a third for patients on ventilators, according to the BBC.
For those on oxygen, it cut deaths by a fifth.
Had the drug been used to treat patients in the UK from the start of the pandemic, up to 5,000 lives could have been saved, researchers say.
And it could be of huge benefit in poorer countries with high numbers of Covid-19 patients.
The UK government has 200,000 courses of the drug in its stockpile and says the NHS will make dexamethasone available to patients.
About 19 out of 20 patients with coronavirus recover without being admitted to hospital, the BBC stated.
Of those who are admitted, most also recover but some may need oxygen or mechanical ventilation.
And these are the high-risk patients dexamethasone appears to help.
The drug is already used to reduce inflammation in a range of other conditions.
And it appears to help stop some of the damage that can happen when the body’s immune system goes into overdrive as it tries to fight off coronavirus.
This over-reaction, a cytokine storm can be deadly, the BBC noted.