Hydrocortisone helps sickest COVID-19 patients — UK study | Inquirer Technology
Close  

Hydrocortisone helps sickest COVID-19 patients — UK study

/ 05:47 PM September 04, 2020
hospital

A man wearing a mask walking outside the entrance to the emergency department of University College Hospital in London. Image: AFP/Tolga Akmen

Commonly available anti-inflammatory drugs have been found to reduce the mortality rate of the sickest COVID-19 patients by 20%, researchers said on Thursday.

Professor Anthony Gordon, of Imperial College London, was part of a British team investigating the effectiveness of hydrocortisone on people on ventilators in intensive care.

ADVERTISEMENT

The results of the United Kingdom study were compared with those of six others around the world also looking at whether similar corticosteroid drugs could be used in treatment.

“Taking the data from all the seven trials combined, in the patients who weren’t treated with steroids, about 40% died from this severe COVID-19,” Gordon told Agence France-Presse.

FEATURED STORIES

“In the groups that were given the various steroids, 32%, roughly, died, so that’s a 20% reduction in the risk…

“That means if you treat 100 patients giving them steroids, you would expect to save eight lives, which is really impressive to see a result like that.”

The head of Britain’s state-run National Health Service in England, Simon Stevens, called it a “further weapon in the armory in the worldwide fight against COVID-19”.

“Just as we did with dexamethasone, the NHS will now take immediate action to ensure that patients who could benefit from treatment with hydrocortisone do so,” he added.

Gordon, who combines research with work as a hospital intensive care specialist, said the results were “clear evidence” that steroids help the most severely ill patients.

But he stressed that the steroids, which are often found in over-the-counter medications, should not be used for prevention of COVID-19 or as a home remedy for viral infections.

Some 403 patients at 88 hospitals in the U.K. study received hydrocortisone via an intravenous drip rather than in pill form, he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

The similar effectiveness of different corticosteroids could help in the treatment of the disease around the world, alleviating pressure on supply chains, he added.

“Clinicians may be more familiar using one or more of these drugs… Having this choice, a greater drug supply, is good news.”

The results of a U.K. trial of dexamethasone were published in July, showing that mortality rates of patients with COVID-19 were reduced by just under a third.

Among those on ventilators, the death rate for patients on the anti-inflammatory drug was 29.3% compared with 41.4% for those without.

Gordon said that although the latest results were “consistent” and “encouraging,” further treatments were still needed for the coronavirus. RGA

RELATED STORIES:

10-year-old boy fighting cancer survives COVID-19

Google whips up informative COVID-19 website

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .

TOPICS: coronavirus, COVID-19, National Health Service, Steroids, United Kingdom
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2021 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.