The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says it is aware of recent outcomes from a UK-based trial for COVID-19, and will work with its sister agencies to evaluate this emerging data on the use of Dexamethasone.
Recall we previously made a report about Dexamethasone, a drug which has been in existence since the 1950s and now seems to be a potential live-saver as against Hydrochloroquine and Remdesivir, based on the UK RECOVERY trial which indicated that the generic steroid drug, dexamethasone in low dosage for severe cases of hospitalized covid-19 patients, reduced deaths by up to one third and one fifth for those on ventilators and oxygen respectively.
Well, NCDC tweeted about it and said it is working on evaluating the use of the drug and the general public will be informed about the outcome. In the mean time, the Federal government has not validated or approved the use of this drug for treatment of Covid-19 neither has it been validated by World Health Organization, WHO.
Mayo Clinic defines Dexamethasone as a corticosteroid (cortisone-like medicine or steroid) used as an anti-inflammatory drug on a variety of conditions including asthma, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and severe allergies. This drug is used to treat rheumatism as well.
It has some side effects that needs to be monitored and they are: severe stomach or intestinal pain, sudden changes with vision, fits, significant psychiatric or personality changes, severe dizziness, fainting, weakness and chest pain or irregular heartbeat, and swelling of the face, lips, mouth, tongue or throat, which may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing. Please be warned.
Report says Dexamethasone is only helpful to people with milder symptoms of coronavirus, having difficulty in breathing. The side effects experienced by the patients in the UK based study are yet to be revealved publicly if any; nonetheless, self-prescription/medication is not advisable therefore individuals are not expected to purchase the drugs without consulting medical professionals.
Besides, not all patients with symptoms of the virus would respond to the treatment using this drug.
Based on the information gathered, Should Dexamethasone be encouraged in Nigeria as potential treatment and are there critical cases of covid-19 that warrants the usage of this drug especially with its known side effects?
Note that the drug will only work for severe cases of corona virus. And this in not a cure per se; it only reduces the percentage of death rate for patients on ventilators and oxygen. Do we have such cases here?
Please feel free to share your thoughts!