KAMPALA – Results of a study released on Tuesday show that if common anti-allergy drug dexamethasone is given in low doses to patients battling serious COVID- 19, a third of them can be saved from death.
Conducted by researchers at Oxford university and part of a large Randomized Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapies (RECOVERY) trial that is assessing efficacy of a wide range of drugs, the researchers assessed use of the steroid in 2100 people.
The patients were chosen to randomly receive 6mls of the common drug in a single dose per day either taken orally through an injection for ten days.
In a statement the university notes that results of dexamethasone treatment were compared with 4321 patients randomised in usual care for COVID-19 treatment.
Peter Horby, the lead investigator on the study said the survival benefit was high even in patients who are very sick requiring oxygen treatment which means that the drug can become the standard of care in these patients.
However, this drug will require more evaluation to be enrolled for use among patients as findings are yet to be reviewed by other scientists.
Apart from dexamethasone, other drugs that have been studied for treatment include Ebola drug Remidsivir, anti malarial drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine among others . Though they have been used in treatment of patients, studies have found them not as effective with some finding the drugs to actually increase patient’s risk of death.