The UK government has been stockpiling life-saving steroid drug in case of a second Coronavirus wave.
THE cheap and readily available drug, Dexamethasone, will form part of the NHS standard treatment for Covid-19 from today, it is understood it will be used as a first-line treatment should the expected second-wave of the deadly disease hits.
The NHS will make dexamethasone available as a treatment for patients on ventilators and oxygen from Tuesday afternoon. It is a cheap and widely available drug that cuts the risk of death by a third for patients on ventilators, a study has found, for patients on oxygen, it was shown to cut deaths by a fifth.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock welcomed the discovery by researchers, thanking the scientists at the University of Oxford, he said supplies of the drug have been stockpiled since March for use by the NHS.
Dexamethasone is a widely-used steroid drug that works to reduce inflammation. It has been used to treat a number of different conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. The drug is also used in end-of-life care and can work to prevent the immune system from destroying blood platelets in people with blood disorders.
Patients with a brain tumour may also be prescribed dexamethasone as a way to reduce swelling.