UK experts found out that a low-dosage steroid can ease the suffering of coronavirus patients and even save lives.
Experts said this drug is dexamethasone, which they considered as “major breakthrough,” said BBC.
Dexamethasone is used to treat conditions such as arthritis, blood/hormone/immune system disorder, allergic reactions, certain skin, and eye conditions, breathing problems, certain bowel disorders, and certain cancers.
According to reports, it cut the risk of death by a third for patients on ventilators. For those on oxygen, it cut deaths by a fifth.
Researchers said, should the drug had been used to treat patients in the UK from the start of the pandemic, up to 5,000 lives could have been saved.
It added that this has a huge benefit in poorer countries with high numbers of coronavirus patients.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there was a genuine case to celebrate “a remarkable British scientific achievement.”
“We have taken steps to ensure we have enough supplies, even in the event of a second peak,” he added.
UK Chief Medical Officer Prof Chris Whitty said it would save lives around the world.
According to the report, about 19 out of 20 patients with coronavirus recover without being admitted to hospital.
The study shows, that those who are admitted, most also recover but some may need oxygen or mechanical ventilation.
The report added, that these are the high-risk patients dexamethasone appears to help.
BBC said, in the trial, led by a team from Oxford University, about 2,000 hospital patients were given dexamethasone and compared with more than 4,000 who were not.
It cut the risk of death from 40% to 28%, for patients on ventilators.
Meanwhile, it cut the risk of death from 25% to 20%, for patients needing oxygen.
Dexamethasone is a cheap and widely available drug.
The drug is part of the world’s biggest trail testing existing treatments to see if they also work for coronavirus.
The same report said, dexamethasone does not appear to help people with milder symptoms of coronavirus who do not need help with their breathing.