Dexamethasone, a low cost anti-inflammatory drug appears to reduce death in patients with COVID-19. Highly available and easy to administer, more studies are needed to determine when to use this treatment most effectively.
Dexamethasone is typically used to treat conditions such as arthritis and asthma, but side effect may lead to suppression of the immune system. Patients with advanced COVID-19 that are experiencing severe lung complications may benefit from the use of dexamethasone treatment. Treatment in those receiving oxygen therapy and not on ventilators were shown to have the risk of death reduced by 20%. However, those with less severe COVID-19 conditions did not benefit from using dexamethasone. The Oxford study was the result of studying more than 2,100 participants.