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This is a summary of "Effect of Dexamethasone in Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19 - Preliminary Report"


Can corticosteroids help treat COVID-19 patients?

This study finds evidence that corticosteroids can speed recovery and reduce the risk of death among hospitalized COVID-19 patients. However, these benefits are only found in patients who already need supplemental oxygen or ventilator support for breathing.

Key takeaways

Why is this important?

COVID-19 can have very high mortality rates for patients who have been hospitalized, and there are not many good treatments for patients who are doing poorly. In England, rates of mortality are as high as 37% in patients who need a ventilator to help them breathe. As a result, doctors have been looking at multiple possible treatments, including ones that have been seen in the news: vitamin D, hydroxychloroquine, remdesivir, and other medications. Among the treatments that have been tested in clinical trials, so far only remdesivir has demonstrated a reduction in the time for recovery, and it is not clear whether it reduces mortality from COVID-19. Even if remdesivir is an effective treatment, it remains fairly expensive and may not be widely available for all patients.

This particular study suggests that use of a commonly available corticosteroid, dexamethasone, may help to significantly reduce the risk of death or deterioration in the hospital, and improve the rate of recovery.

What did the study do?

How was it reported?

The original paper is a preprint study. It has not been certified by peer review from other researchers, and information presented may be erroneous. Do not use it to guide clinical practice! Learn more →

Original Paper DOI10.1101/2020.06.22.20137273

Effect of Dexamethasone in Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19 - Preliminary Report [PDF]

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