COVID-19: What, Why and How to use dexamethasone in COVID-19
After the breakout of current Covid-19 pandemic medical scientists started different clinical trials on COVID-19 patients to find out some fruitful treatment for COVID-19.
In the same way, recently the scientists of Oxford University United Kingdom conducted a clinical trial on behalf of which they claimed that Dexamethasone can play a vital role in the improvement of seriously ill Covid-19 patients.
In the current article, we will cover what is dexamethasone? What does the study reveal about the use of dexamethasone in COVID-19 patients? What is the science behind it? And are the precautions and warnings for using dexamethasone in COVID-19 patients.
What is Dexamethasone?
Dexamethasone is commonly used steroids in the field of medical science for different purposes. It is also named as Corticosteroids used in different health conditions like inflammation, allergy, itching, skin and lung disorders, etc. And currently referred to as the most effective medicine for Covid-19 in a study conducted by the Oxford University UK.
The Corticosteroids are produced by Suprarenal glands located on the top of the kidneys. These glands release corticosteroids in stressful situations like fear, pain, injury, sugary, infection, and hypoglycemia. The main use of steroids is to get energy for the brain and muscles when they are under stress. These steroids stop the rest of tissues from using glucose other than muscles and brain.
What does the Oxford University study reveal about the use of dexamethasone in COVID-19?
Since the beginning of this global COVID-19 pandemic, the doctors and scientists are busy in clinical trials to find a hopeful medicine for COVID-19 treatment. In the same way, a huge clinical trial was initiated by the scientist at Oxford University. The trial was conducted on 11500 patients, the largest number of patients included in a clinical trial up to now.
The study reveals that the use of dexamethasone in the seriously ill COVID-19 patient, who has severe respiratory complications like Acute Severe Respiratory Distress Syndrome, has shown significant improvement in the reduction of deaths.
The study also shows that dexamethasone helped only those Covid-19 patients who need respiratory support like a ventilator or oxygen. And do not help those patients who did not need any respiratory support.
The statistics published in the reports of the study show that dexamethasone can reduce the deaths in the patients on a ventilator by one-third. While in the patients, who only receive oxygen, reduce the death by one-fifth. And it has no effect on the patient who did not receive any respiratory support.
Why to use Dexamethasone in COVID-19?
Basically dexamethasone is a Corticosteroid. Although it compress the immunity system, but however when someone immunity system completely fails, then this drug came to the driving seat. Especially when the lungs are severely affected. The COVID-19 patients that are seriously ill, whose lungs are severely damaged and near to die can be treated by dexamethasone.
What is the mechanism of action of dexamethasone in COVID-19?
Now the question is that how dexamethasone works? In such a terminally ill patient of COVID-19. For this, we will trace back to its already existing use in the field of medical science. When a premature baby born the doctors used to inject the baby dexamethasone to save baby lungs and let it work properly.
Why the doctors do this? The medical reason behind this is that in the prematurely born babies the lungs are not fully developed. If we estimate in the week the duration of full mature baby is 40 weeks inside the mother placenta. And the lungs of the baby developed in the 36-37 week. When the baby born before the 36th week its lungs are not fully developed. That is why the premature born baby faces a breath problem if the complication further increases a condition developed in them called Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. The doctors rescue such babies with dexamethasone.
Now to answer the question that what is the mechanism of action of dexamethasone? Actually dexamethasone produces a substance inside the lungs called surfactant. The surfactant saves alveoli from collapsing.
In the same way, dexamethasone work for seriously ill patients of COVID-19 who are on the ventilator, and the complication of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome is developed in them. Actually, in this situation some substances are produced in the lungs called pro-inflammatory mediators that cause inflammation and destruction in the lungs. Dexamethasone helps patients to save from such destruction.
Warning and Precautions for using Dexamethasone in COVID-19 patient
The preliminary question in this regard is that can we use dexamethasone at home in COVID-19? The answer is straight forward, NO, because self-medication of dexamethasone for COVID-19 patients is strongly prohibited. Because it compress the immunity system. Its improper use may damage patient immunity. The decision of when to use and how to use dexamethasone will be thoroughly made by specialist doctors. Because dexamethasone is used in the terminally ill COVID-19 patients who are on the edge of death and need respiratory support via a ventilator. Any mistake via self-medication of dexamethasone may lead the patient to lose hope of life.