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Japan approved the use of Dexamethasone approved in COVID-19 treatment (Photo: Reuters)
Dexamethasone has drawn international attention since it was reported in Britain last month that the drug reduced deaths among patients with severe cases of COVID-19. The inexpensive and easy-to-obtain drug is used to treat a wide range of conditions including lung disease and is covered by medical isurance.
In Japan, Dexamethasone was mentioned as a government-approved drug in a revised version of a Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry handbook for treating COVID-19 patients, according to Japan Times.
In the study conducted by the University of Oxford, the drug reduced deaths by a third among ventilated patients and by a fifth among patients receiving oxygen only. However, the death rate did not change for patients who did not require respiratory support, it said.
Taking into account the results of the Oxford study, the NIH revised its guidelines to recommend that the drug be administered to ventilated patients and those requiring oxygen injection.
Commented on the treatment of Dexamethasone in COVID-19 treatment, the World Health Organization said it “can be lifesaving for patients who are critically ill with COVID-19.”
Japan had earlier approved Gilead Sciences Inc's antiviral drug remdesivir in treating COVID-19 patients. Dexamethasone is now the second drug to be officially put in use.
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