Cheap Steroid Dexamethasone Reduces COVID-19 Deaths by One-third

Dexamethasone, a cheap steroid, reduced deaths by one-third in ventilated patients and by one fifth in other patients receiving oxygen only. There was no benefit among those patients who did not require respiratory support.

A total of 2104 patients were randomised to receive dexamethasone 6 mg once per day (either by mouth or by intravenous injection) for ten days and were compared with 4321 patients randomised to usual care alone. Among the patients who received usual care alone, 28-day mortality was highest in those who required ventilation (41%), intermediate in those patients who required oxygen only (25%), and lowest among those who did not require any respiratory intervention (13%).

Based on these results, 1 death would be prevented by treatment of around 8 ventilated patients or around 25 patients requiring oxygen alone.

Dexamethasone is a medical staple found on pharmaceutical shelves worldwide and is available as a pill — a particular benefit as coronavirus infections continue to rise in countries with limited access to healthcare. “For less than £50 ($63), you can treat 8 patients and save one life,” said Martin Landray, an epidemiologist at the University of Oxford.

The antiviral drug remdesivir was previously shown to shorten the amount of time that patients may need to spend in the hospital, it did not have a statistically significant effect on death.

The combination of remsesivir and Dexamethasone can now be used to lessen the load on hospitals and save lives of the sickest people with COVID-19.

Dexamethasone is already used to reduce inflammation in a range of other conditions. 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.

Half of all Covid patients who require a ventilator do not survive, so cutting that risk by a third would have a huge impact.

SOURCES- Nature, Oxford, BBC News
Written By Brian Wang,

17 thoughts on “Cheap Steroid Dexamethasone Reduces COVID-19 Deaths by One-third”

  1. Doctors I’ve heard from say that yes, they have much better treatment protocols now compared to 4 months ago. And they’ve now got full stocks of the needed equipment and supplies.

    Of course the second point depends on where in the world you are.

  2. Since most people recover from COVID it is really hard to determine if a treatment makes a difference. You have to have a large group of test subjects. And then there must be a big enough difference for the treatment to be statistically significant.

  3. Its a pity than there are tens of million older than 65. Lets take the 0.25% death rate with a population of 330 million we get 800 thousands dead. That is 20 times auto deaths.

  4. COVID death rates have been dropping. I don’t really know why. I think maybe the doctor are learning to do a better job treating the people who are very sick. But I am not sure.

  5. Yep, something that has been sorely missing in a lot of supposedly serious papers and studies.

    Remember ladies and gents: correlation is not causation.

    This disease’s IFR is so low that you can do a random study giving holy water to 100 Covid-19 sick people and have all of them heal. A scientifically proven miracle! (or just a fluke?)

  6. Investigating dexamethasone steroids is nothing like reducing the speed limit to 5 mph.

    It’s more like a research program into seatbelts.

  7. so you should. But should we lower the speed limit to 5mph so as to avoid any chance of accidents?

  8. Leaving out the important bit:

    A total of 2104 patients were randomised to receive dexamethasone 6 mg once per day (either by mouth or by intravenous injection) for ten days and were compared with 4321 patients randomised to usual care alone. 

    So it was a real trial with lots of subjects. Not a handful of people with zero statistical power (as are too many of these headline studies)

  9. is around 0.26% overall. If you’re under 65 and relatively healthy you have a higher chance of dying from being hit by a car then then of COVID19.

  10. HCQ has been available for decades to treat malaria and lupus with the health scare only coming up after it was mentioned as a treatment for Wuhan Lab virus by Trump. Most of the health problems contributed to hydroxichloroquine comes from chloroquine and the two are deliberately and dishonestly conflated by people with a partisan political agenda, the very same people who thinks Wuhan Lab virus is politically left wing and doesn’t affect rioting Antifa thugs. Now stop spreading lies about HCQ.

  11. Wow. Who’d of thunk an anti-inflammatory immuno-suppressive steroid would help those suffering from Cytokine release syndrome…. might be why the Lupus medicine seems to have some efficacy.

  12. Some places forbid or restricted some medicines because people started taking them recklessly and without medical supervision.

    For example hydroxicloroquine, which isn’t harmless.

    And this steroid isn’t harmless either. Yeah, it looks like a desire to control people but dosages and medical appointments and diagnostics exist for a reason.

  13. I’m not sure you can actually evaluate it apart from whether it’s been mentioned favorably by Trump.

    Just joking. But, yes, given the price I don’t have much hope for the trials.

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