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Saudi Arabia approves use of dexamethasone to treat coronavirus patients

Web report/Riyadh
Filed on June 17, 2020
Saudi Arabia, approvedm use, dexamethasone, treatment, coronavirus, Covid-19, critically ill, patients, Ministry of Health

(Reuters)

The steroid will be used for critically ill Covid-19 patients who need oxygen and who are hospitalised, ministry of health says.

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday approved the use of dexamethasone for the treatment of coronavirus, the country's Ministry of Health (MoH) announced.

The steroid has been included in the ministry's treatment protocol for critically ill Covid-19 patients who need oxygen and who are hospitalised, especially in critical care units, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported, quoting ministry sources.

Dexamethasone is widely used in other diseases to reduce inflammation.

Also read: WHO says steroid should be kept for serious coronavirus cases only

It helps prevent some of the damage that can occur when the body's immune system goes into overdrive as it tries to fight off coronavirus.

It shot to prominence on Tuesday when British researchers from Oxford University said the drug had proved, in a trial, that it had cut the death rate of severely ill Covid-19 patients by a third.

The ministry said that it is conducting its own extensive study and some of its results, which were published Tuesday, showed that this drug reduces the risk of deaths of Covid-19 patients, who are on ventilators in intensive care units, by 35 percent.

It also slashes death rates of patients who use oxygen but are not on ventilators by 20 per cent.

The MoH stressed that it is constantly updating its therapeutic protocol for coronavirus patients by adding any drugs that have positive impact on patients.

It added that its experts follow up on everything issued by researchers around the world on a daily basis.


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