Udayavni Special

Covid-19: What is dexamethasone and how does it work?


Team Udayavani, Sep 7, 2020, 9:31 AM IST

The UK’s Recovery trial found that  a steroid called dexamethasone, that could save the lives of people with severe Covid-19 infection

The latest study brings together all clinical trials involving steroids on coronavirus patients around the world. It confirms dexamethasone works and that another steroid, hydrocortisone, is equally effective.

The results come from the Recovery (Randomised Evaluation of Covid-19 therapy) trial, conducted by the University of Oxford.

Researchers showed dexmethasone can save the life of one in eight patients on ventilators and one in 25 patients on supplemental oxygen (not intubated)

Dexamethasone is a steroid that prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation.

It is used to treat many different conditions such as allergic disorders, skin conditions, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, or breathing disorders.

Dexamethasone, a corticosteroid, is similar to a natural hormone produced by your adrenal glands. It often is used to replace this chemical when your body does not make enough of it.

According to BBC, This drug works by dampening down the body’s immune system. Coronavirus infection triggers inflammation as the body tries to fight it off.

But sometimes the immune system goes into overdrive and it’s this reaction that can prove fatal – the very reaction designed to attack infection ends up attacking the body’s own cells. Dexamethasone calms this effect.

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