Treating Corona Virus Using Dexamthasone: A Cheap Way to Treat COVID-19

Dexamethasone is a steroid drug that has proven to be of benefit in reducing the swelling (oedema) caused by some brain tumors.

As an anti-inflammatory medication, dexamethasone relieves inflammation in various parts of the body. Any anti-inflammatory drug such as steroid or NSAID or Aspirin can also be effective to treat the corona virus but it needs clinical trials and the dose relationship while treating patients. It is still a question of approval from the government agencies and the medical related authorities.

N 95 Mask as protection against the Corona Virus

Normally it takes 8-24 hours for the first effects to be apparent. As of now, there is no Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved vaccine in the U.S, being still in an experimental or an approval stages besides considerations such as distribution, funding and protocols as required by the various governments and organizations like World Health Organization (WHO). It is a lengthy process; may take 10 to 12 months or early 2021.

As we know, it is the dose alone that makes the difference. It could be a poison if the dose is not determined to be effective in relieving inflammation in various parts of our body system. Of course, some drugs may have common side effects that may include fluid retention (swelling in your hands or ankles), increased appetite, mood changes, trouble sleeping; skin rash, bruising or discoloration; acne, increased sweating, increased hair growth; headache, dizziness; nausea, vomiting, and upset stomach. Each patient is different and needs a trial treatment.

A Cheap & Available Drug or Combination of Drugs

World is looking a drug or combination of drugs that may be effective as we see dexamethasone as a drug in U.K.

A cheap and widely available drug can help save the lives of patients seriously ill with corona virus.  According to the experts in UK; the low-dose steroid treatment with dexamethasone is a major breakthrough in the fight against the deadly virus. The drugs are parts of the worldwide biggest trials in the existing treatments. It is to seed after the clinical trials, it they could work in treating the corona patients.

As observed in U.K., it cuts the risk of death by a third for patients on ventilators. For those on oxygen, it cut deaths by a fifth. Had the drug had been used to treat patients in the UK from the start of the pandemic, up to 5,000 lives could have been saved, researchers say; and it could be of huge benefit in poorer countries with high numbers of Covid-19 patients.

The UK government has 200,000 courses of the drug in its stockpile and says the NHS will make dexamethasone available to patients. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there was a genuine case to celebrate “a remarkable British scientific achievement”, adding: “We have taken steps to ensure we have enough supplies, even in the event of a second peak.”

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Drug Combination

Drug Combination may be a good option and may help to beat COVID-19 if approved by the trails method and processes by the experts in medicals fields globally till the vaccine is available at reasonable rates to all patients affected by the corona virus.

Dexamethasone as a drug is already used to reduce inflammation in a range of other conditions, including arthritis, asthma and some skin conditions. A drug combination may be the best option after the clinical trial and other procedures and protocols.

In the trial, led by a team from Oxford University, about 2,000 hospital patients were given dexamethasone and compared with more than 4,000 who were not.

  • For patients on ventilators, it cut the risk of death from 40% to 28%.
  • For patients needing oxygen, it cut the risk of death from 25% to 20%.

Chief investigator Prof Peter Horby said: “This is the only drug so far that has been shown to reduce mortality – and it reduces it significantly. It’s a major breakthrough.”

Lead researcher Prof Martin Landray said the findings suggested one life could be saved for:

  • every eight patients on a ventilator
  • every 20-25 treated with oxygen

“There is a clear, clear benefit,” he said.

“The treatment is up to 10 days of dexamethasone and it costs about £5 per patient.

“So essentially it costs £35 to save a life.”This is a drug that is globally available.”

When appropriate, hospital patients should now be given it without delay, Prof Landray said.

But people should not go out and buy it to take at home.

Dexamethasone does not appear to help people with milder symptoms of coronavirus who do not need help with their breathing.

The first drug proven to cut deaths from Covid-19 is not some new, expensive medicine but an old, cheap-as-chips steroid.

That is something to be happy occasion or to celebrate because it means patients across the world could benefit immediately. We need cheap and ready available treatment as we take some anti-inflammatory drug such as steroid or NSAID or Aspirin and to be effective to treat the corona virus.

Understanding COVID-19 and Resources

Normal Style of Life

There is a shift in behavior in the U.S among the general public. It is being observed after the Corona Virus outbreak. When would be the life style normal again, a serious question in everybody mind? No answer as yet.

A recent study at the university level in Arizona reveals that 86% of Americans are “concerned” about the outcome of the pandemic on their everyday lives.

The medical community, doctors, and treating physicians should pay attention to suggest some cheaper medication or combination of medicines may be over the counter during the interim period before the actual vaccines are available in the market.

Some people do not like vaccine or the vaccine may not suit to patients who may have some allergic reaction. Anyhow, I am not pharmacologist or a medical doctor (MD), may not have more info on this subject matter.

How to control or protect from this contagious virus; a fear to all people around the globe need attention. As an occupational hygienist, we should follow the hierarchy of controls such as elimination, substitutions, engineering, the best to applied by having a “Vaccine” are the best controls methods while the Administrative controls and the personnel protective (PPE) are the second inline defense.

The use of PPE as the last resort which in some cases is uncomfortable and expensive because ordinary or common type of mask costs 25 cents for a single use. PPE cannot be used as a permanent solution. General public do not like and looks somewhat strange as an out-face look. I do not like personally but have to use them under the COVID-19 administrative order or recently recommend by the WHO for the safety of general public and for the work force on daily bases while working or moving outside for some kind of business or at work. PPE and social distancing is the best for the time being till we have vaccine.

Corona Virus-19: An Understanding of the Production-number R0

References:

U.K. study backs HCMC’s bullish use of dexamethasone for COVID-19, web page at: https://www.startribune.com/u-k-study-backs-hcmc-s-bullish-use-of-steroid-for-covid-19/571304802/.

A cheap and widely available drug can help save the lives of patients seriously ill with corona virus, web page at: https://www.bbc.com/news/health-53061281.

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