The U.K. government has approved the use of dexamethasone — the first coronavirus drug that scientists says has been shown to save lives — and it costs just £5 ($6) (N4,000) per patient.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson described it as the “biggest breakthrough yet” in the global research effort in the fight against coronavirus, at the daily briefing. He added that the U.K. had enough supplies of the drug to deal with a potential second spike in hospital admissions.
The trial’s lead investigator Oxford University’s Professor Peter Horby said when used to treat patients on ventilators with Covid-19, dexamethasone reduced deaths by about 35% and cut the risk of death by 20% in those who required oxygen. Horby said that if eight patients on ventilators were treated with the drug, one life would be saved, adding that the total cost of treating the eight people would be just £40 ($50) (N20,050)
A trial led by Oxford University found that the low-dose steroid treatment dexamethasone cut the risk of death by a third for patients on ventilators, and by a fifth for those on oxygen.The treatment will now be used on the NHS as standard care for Covid-19 patients and the U.K.’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said the drug could “immediately be used across the world” to save lives, at the government’s daily briefing on Tuesday afternoon.
WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT DEXAMETHASONE
Dexamethasone is used to treat conditions such as arthritis, blood/hormone/immune system disorder, allergic reactions, eye conditions, breathing problems and certain cancers and bowel problems. It is also used as a test for an adrenal gland disorder (Cushing’s syndrome).
This medications is a corticosteroid hormone (glucocorticoid). It decreases your body’s natural defensive response and reduces symptoms such as swelling and allergic-type reactions.
Stomach upset, headache, dizziness, menstrual changes, trouble sleeping, increased appetite, or weight gain may occur.