A £5 cheap and widely available drug Dexamethasone has been tagged as the greatest breakthrough in the quest for the cure for coronavirus, UK experts say.
The drug according to reports, has helped save the lives of patients seriously ill with the disease.
The drug is part of the world’s biggest trial testing existing treatments to see if they also work for coronavirus.
A major British trial, code-named RECOVERY, has declared the drug the biggest breakthrough.
So far, there is no established cure yet for the virus.
According to Daily Mail, dexamethasone was also shown to save the lives of a fifth of Covid-19 sufferers with moderate illness receiving oxygen.
The results from the RECOVERY trial suggest the steroid can prevent death in one in eight ventilated coronavirus patients and one in 25 on oxygen.
Dexamethasone, which is given either via an injection or as a once-a-day tablet, becomes the first drug proven to treat the incurable viral disease, the Mail said.
“It is commonly prescribed to patients with allergic disorders, skin conditions, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, lupus and psoriasis.
“The steroid prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation, a nasty side effect of coronavirus infection that makes breathing difficult.
“In seriously unwell Covid-19 patients, the lungs become so damaged they struggle to take in oxygen and keep vital organs functioning”.
Scientists behind RECOVERY, led by Oxford University, are recommending all 400 coronavirus patients currently intubated in NHS hospitals are prescribed the drug.
Professor Martin Landray, lead author of the study, said dexamethasone could have saved around 5,000 lives if it was used throughout the UK’s crisis.
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