There have been many reports talking about a drug called Dexamethasone which is said to be a “breakthrough treatment” for patients with Covid-19.
The World Health Organization (WHO) even said in their website that they welcome the “initial clinical trial results from the United Kingdom (UK) that show dexamethasone, a corticosteroid, can be lifesaving for patients who are critically ill with COVID-19.”
However, the Ministry of Health has advised against misusing the drug to treat Covid-19 patients without a doctor’s prescription as the drug has many side effects which is also used to treat other illnesses.
According to Bernama, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham said one of the side effects is the cushing syndrome (a disorder with physical and mental changes that result from having too much cortisol in the blood), thinning of the skin, bone loss and muscle weakness.
“Depending on how long you use it, and (it will also cause) bone loss as well,” he said during a press conference on 17 June.
Dr Hisham said that Dexamethasone is a type of steroid used to reduce inflammation for several illnesses, including cancer.
“The Health Ministry takes cognisance of early developments in clinical trials for Dexamethasone in treating COVID-19, known as ‘Recovery Trial’ at the University of Oxford,” he said.
“Early findings show that the drug can reduce fatality risks by one third among COVID-19 patients with serious respiratory symptoms, especially Category 5 patients who require ventilators.”
“However, the clinical trials also found that the drug was not effective in treating COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms or those who do not require breathing aid.”
Dr Noor Hisham then added that the Dexamethasone drug will only be used at the intensive care unit with a maximum dosage of four milligrammes for five days among Category 5 patients.
Trust Dr Noor Hisham to know what to do in situations like this!
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