Steroid could reduce COVID-19 deaths: 5 things to know

A new U.K.-led study posits the steroid dexamethasone could be a life-saving treatment for patients with severe COVID-19, according to STAT.

Here are five key details:

  • Dexamethasone is an inexpensive, on-the-shelf steroid used to treat conditions such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and certain cancers.

  • The study, called RECOVERY, randomly prescribed 2,104 COVID-19 patients 6 milligrams of dexamethasone daily, which they took intravenously or by mouth. They were compared to 4,321 patients who received only standard care.

  • Dexamethasone reduced the death rate by 35 percent in patients who needed to be on a ventilator and 20 percent in patients who needed oxygen but not a ventilator.

  • The study did not find dexamethasone to be statistically beneficial in patients who did not require oxygen.

  • The full study has yet to be published or face scientific scrutiny.

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