Health experts to consider dexamethasone use for COVID-19 patients: Zafar Mirza

Health experts to consider dexamethasone use for COVID-19 patients: Zafar Mirza

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza said on Wednesday a committee of health experts will consider the use of the generic steroid drug dexamethasone to treat serious COVID-19 patients in the country.
In a Twitter statement, he said: “Positive results from UK on use of Dexamethaone in critical patients welcomed by WHO as a 1st treatment to be shown to reduce mortality in patients with COVID-19 requiring Oxygen or ventilator support. Expert Committee in [Pakistan] to consider inclusion.”
The special assistant said it is an old and cheap anti-inflammatory medicine (steroid), adding there are multiple producers of the drug in the country.
He clarified: “It is ONLY FOR critically ill COVID-19 patients ie those on oxygen and ventilators; the medicine MUST NOT be used by mild to moderate patients; self-medication is strictly prohibited and can be dangerous as the medicine has many side-effects.”
Read More: Pakistan witnesses record 136 coronavirus deaths during past 24 hours
It is noteworthy that a UK-led clinical trial known as RECOVERY lately showed the steroid saved the lives of one third of the gravest cases. The results, described as a “major breakthrough” by scientists who led the trial, suggest the drug should immediately become standard care in patients treated in hospital with the pandemic disease, the researchers said.
“This is a result that shows that if patients who have COVID-19 and are on ventilators or are on oxygen are given dexamethasone, it will save lives, and it will do so at a remarkably low cost,” said Martin Landray, an Oxford University professor who is co-leading the trial.

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