COVID-19: WHO warns against unsupervised use of Dexamethasone

Written by on June 18, 2020

The World Health Organization has welcomed the initial clinical trial results from the United Kingdom that show that a cortico-steroid, ie dexa-methasone, can be lifesaving for patients who are critically ill.

Reacting to the development, South Africa said it was “considering” treating seriously ill Covid-19 patients with dexamethasone. Its ministerial advisory committee on Covid-19 said administering the steriod intravenously for 10 days may be considered for Covid-19 patients who are on ventilator support.

In Kenya, where Covid-19 infections are surging, public health director Patrick Amoth says dexamethasone has been used for “supportive management of Covid-19” in the country,and already included in Kenya Essential Medicines List 2019.

But Nigeria said it will wait for the World Health Organization to clear the drug before starting its trials. In a statement on Twitter, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said the government had not validated trials of dexamethasone.

Doctors however warned patients against self-medicating using dexamethasone, saying the drug should not be used in mild Covid-19 cases., as the drug might weaken the immune system and make one more susceptible to getting a severe form of the disease.



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