Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare on Saturday released an updated clinical management protocol for managing COVID-19 cases which includes the advice to use Dexamethasone as an alternative choice to Methylprednisolone for managing moderate to severe cases of COVID-19.
The approval from the government came after the World Health Organisation urged the countries to increase the production of dexamethasone.
Earlier two researchers in the United Kingdom had found this low-cost steroid ‘Dexamethasone’ which had proved to be helpful in treating critical COVID-19 patients dependent on ventilators or oxygen supply.
Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid drug used in a wide range of conditions for its anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressant effects. The drug has been tested in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 in the RECOVERY clinical trial and was found to have benefits for critically ill patients and has been shown to reduce mortality by about one third for patients on ventilators, and by about one fifth for patients being maintained on oxygen therapy. The drug is also a part of the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) and is widely available.
An updated protocol has been forwarded to all States/UTs to make necessary arrangements for availability and use of the updated protocol and drug Dexamethasone at the institutional level also.