June 23, 2020

Impact: Moderate

  • Researchers at the University of Oxford reported results from a randomized study of patients with severe cases of COVID-19, with either oral or intravenous administration of the widely available steroid dexamethasone, compared to usual care.
  • 2,104 patients were randomized to receive dexamethasone 6 mg once per day (either by mouth or by intravenous injection) for ten days and were compared with 4,321 patients randomized to usual care alone.
  • Dexamethasone reduced deaths by one-third in ventilated patients and by one fifth in other patients receiving oxygen only. There was no benefit among those patients who did not require respiratory support.
  • Full results have not yet been published or peer reviewed.
  • The RECOVERY (Randomised Evaluation of COVid-19 thERapY) trial was established as a randomized clinical trial to test a range of potential treatments for COVID-19, including low-dose dexamethasone. Over 11,500 patients have been enrolled at over 175 NHS hospitals in the UK.

inThought Analysis

Dexamethasone is the first drug to be shown to improve survival in COVID-19. The drug is widely available in generic forms and can be used immediately to save lives worldwide.

Source: Oxford University Press Release