Coronavirus: some steroids effective against severe Covid-19, three new studies say

Published by Laurent P. · Published on 3 September 2020 at 17h30
Are some steroids effective against severe Covid-19? This is the conclusion three studies found published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Their effectiveness led the WHO to authorize their use for cases concerned.

This is good news for patients who developed severe coronavirus… According to three new studies released in the Journal of the American Medical Association, alongside four other randomized clinical trials, some steroids seem to be able to save severely ill cases (understand, acute respiratory distress syndrome requiring hospitalization).

An encouraging conclusion that also led the WHO – after meta-assessment of works – to recommend the use of the aforementioned steroids in the most badly hit patient, even though not recommending their use in less severe cases. Among these steroids, a category seems to stand out, the Washington Post says, corticosteroids seem to reduce deaths in critically ill patients by 20 percent. Adding another steroid, hydrocortisone is as effective as dexamethasone. “Corticosteroids are the only treatment that has been conclusively demonstrated to reduce mortality in patients with covid-19,” said Jonathan Sterne, an author of the meta-analysis and an expert in medical statistics at Britain’s University of Bristol.

Results have been mostly known for a while… And for good reason, dexamethasone has been studied this past June, being added to the Recovery trial, and ended up with conclusive results, so much that the World Health Organization recommended the pharmaceutical companies to boost its production. “It feels like the first fresh piece of fairly consistent, uncomplicated, straightforward, good news about something concrete to do for the sickest of patientsUniversity of Pittsburgh critical care doctor and one of the authors of the third study Derek C. Angus says.

Same call for Todd W. Rice, doctor at Vanderbilt University Medical Care: “it is electrifying … it gives us hope. Maybe we’re gaining on this virus”. A breakthrough then, and another step in the fight against the pandemic.

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