NEW DELHI: Scientists across the world are working hard to find out a COVID-19 medicine. The deadly virus has claimed the lives of many people. The clinical trials are going on and the WHO-administered RECOVERY trial that is checking the ability of various re-purpoed drugs to treat coronavirus, reported on Tuesday that the drug 'Dexamethasone' is showing positive results. Indian doctors said that if this drugs works then it is going to benefit the countries where there is a high risk of coronavirus.
Physician and epidemiologist, Dr. Giridhar Babu speaking to a leading daily said that “This is cheap and widely available; however being a steroid, its abuse can lead to several adverse reactions."
Martin Landray, an Oxford University professor who is co-leading the trial said that "This is a result that shows that if patients who have COVID-19 and are on ventilators or are on oxygen are given dexamethasone, it will save lives, and it will do so at a remarkably low cost."
Peter Horby said that they have observed dexamethasone, a generic steroid widely used in other diseases as well to reduce inflammation. They also found that dexamethasone has shown to reduce mortality.
Dr.Able Lawrence, Professor of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology at the Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences speaking to a news daily said that, "Dexamethasone is a cheaper drug than tocilizumab and if the claim proves out to be successful then this is a great news."
Indian Council for Medical Research has revised the protocol for clinical management of COVID-19 and allowed the use of remdesivir, tocilizumab and convalescent plasma therapy (CPT) on certain groups of patients.
To a question 'what changes now and if we now finally have a treatment for COVID-19?' Dr. Sowmya Swamithan, a chief scientist at the World Health Organisation (WHO) in an interview answered that, "It is a well-done randomised trial with large number of patients. This is the kind of evidence we need for any drug. Second, the results show that it works best in the most severely ill patients that is those who already have a respiratory failure and need oxygen or mechanical ventilation."
She further quoted that "There are many other trials that are going on but this is the largest of them all on Dexamethasone and the WHO will be looking at all the trails that are going on and do a meta analysis and put together all the results. It will have an impact on the treatment guidelines. It is not yet published and is only a press release. The full data has to come out and we know that there are at least 10 other trials that are going on and we need to put together all the results from the different trials and we are in the process of doing that."