Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid, a medication given to treat inflammation. According to the World Health Organization, a COVID-19 study in the United Kingdom, named RECOVERY, tested dexamethasone on patients using ventilators or oxygen alone.
It was found that the dexamethasone reduced mortality in ventilator patients by about a third and improved survival in patients on oxygen alone by one fifth.
It is important to note that no improvement was seen in patients not requiring oxygen. The rationale for using dexamethasone is that the coronavirus can COVID-19 can cause a severe inflammatory response from the patient’s own immune system. This inflammation can flood the lungs with inflammatory proteins, making breathing difficult. The inflammatory response can also affect the rest of the body. When COVID-19 cases become this severe, dexamethasone should be taken, but it is not recommended for mild cases, because it may actually lower the immune response.
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