The leaders of the RECOVERY drug trial in the UK, who are testing the effects of many existing drugs on those infected with COVID-19, have made an announcement saying that a drug known as dexamethasone , which is not expensive and available in most countries including Nigeria, has experimentally been proven to reduce the risk of death of people having a severe case of the disease.
A measure of 6mg of dexamethasone daily (by tablet or by injection) was administered to 2104 COVID-19 patients for ten days. Comparing the results of this treatment after 28 days to the normal treatment which 4321 other patients received it was discovered that the drug reduced the risk of death in patients who were on oxygen or on the ventilator.
For patients who were so sick that they had to be placed on a ventilator , dexamethasone reduced their risk of death from 40% to 28%. For every 8 COVID-19 patients on the ventilator treated with this drug, 1 additional life was saved.
For patients sick enough to be placed on oxygen , the risk of death dropped by from 25% to 20%. For every 25 patients on oxygen treated, 1 additional life was saved.
For patients who were not sick enough to be placed on oxygen or a ventilator, there was " no improvement " according to the researchers.