Dexamethasone cut COVID-19 ICU admission, death risk 56% in trial

Dexamethasone, a common steroid, reduced the risk of ICU admission and death by 56 percent in a clinical trial conducted by researchers from Imperial College London in the U.K.

The study, released Nov. 9, concluded that dexamethasone is a reliable and effective treatment for COVID-19, even in patients with diabetes. The steroid is known to increase blood sugar levels, a serious risk for diabetic patients. But as long as diabetic patients are monitored for complications, dexamethasone is still a cheap, lifesaving treatment against COVID-19, the researchers said. 

"We now feel confident using dexamethasone for patients with diabetes in the future, just with the caveat that it may result in a short-term worsening of their condition. We need to make sure that we've got the right resource available to educate them and monitor them through that period," Victoria Salem, PhD, lead investigator of the trial, said in a news release.  

The researchers compared outcomes of more than 800 patients who did not receive dexamethasone to 1,300 patients who did receive the steroid. 

The full results of the study will be published soon and were presented at the Society for Endocrinology annual conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, this week, according to the news release. 

Read the full news release here


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