The leaders of the RECOVERY drug trial in the UK, who are testing the effects of many existing drugs on COVID-19 patients, have announced that the drug dexamethasone, which is very cheap (for now) and available in most countries (including ours), has been experimentally proven to reduce the risk of death of people with severe cases of the Coronavirus disease.
They administered 6mg of dexamethasone daily (by tablet or by injection) to 2104 COVID-19 patients for ten days. After 28 days, they compared the results of this treatment to the normal treatment which 4321 other patients received. They discovered that the drug reduces the risk of death in patients who are 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, the researchers did not observe any significant improvement.