The World Health Organization considered the success of British researchers in treating cases of serious infection with the emerging corona virus with the drug “Dexamethasone”, which belongs to the family of “steroids”, a scientific achievement, but what do we know about this treatment, and what are its side effects?
The organization’s director general, Tiedros Adhanom, said on Tuesday that “steroid” is the first proven treatment that reduces deaths among Corona patients, who breathe with oxygen flasks or artificial respirators.
The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, had confirmed on Tuesday that British scientists have used a treatment that has shown effective results in the face of the Corona virus, indicating that the treatment in question will be available immediately in the Medical Services Authority and in sufficient quantities in the event of a second outbreak of the virus.
What is Dexamethasone?
Dexamethasone belongs to the family of steroids, which is used to reduce inflammation. It was used in the treatment of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis in the 1960s.
Dexamethasone stops the immune system from destroying platelets in people with blood disorders and problems.
Dexamethasone is also prescribed to reduce tumors, especially cerebrovascular ones, according to the British Sky News.
Dexamethasone and Corona
In a study that demonstrated the efficacy of “dexamethasone” with the emerging corona virus, 2,104 patients were given 6 mg of the drug once a month for oral administration, or intravenous injection for ten days.
The researchers compared the results by observing the variables in the treatment subjects and the rest of the test sample, which consisted of 4321 patients.
Scientists found that over a period of 28 days, the death rate among patients who needed ventilation via ventilators was 41 percent, and for those who needed oxygen it was around 25 percent.
The mortality rate among those patients who did not need support for their respiratory system was 13 percent.
Cost and side effects
Dexamethasone is a cheap drug. Researchers have estimated the cost of a course of treatment for eight people with COFED-19 at 40 pounds, roughly $ 50.
As for the side effects of the drug, the most prominent of which, according to the British National Institute of Health and Quality of Care, are feelings of anxiety, cognitive impairment, a sense of imbalance and fatigue, fluid retention, headache, high blood pressure, mood changes, nausea, osteoporosis, stomach pain, weight gain and sleep disturbances.
Among the less common side effects are increased appetite, vision problems, heart and dizziness, and doctors advise those who take “steroids” to avoid mixing with patients with measles and chickenpox.
According to the guidelines of the British National Institute of Health and Quality of Care, high doses of “steroids” may have effects of insomnia, bad mood, behavior disorders, and negative thoughts such as the desire to commit suicide.