Tag: corticosteroids

#ChemVsCOVID: How were the first treatments for COVID identified?

An infographic titled "Chem vs COVI timeline: 16th June 2020, RECOVERY trial shows dexamethasone as first effective COVID-19 treatment". The structure of dexamethasone is shown at the centre. The left-hand side of the graphic explains how the RECOVERY trial aimed to identify existing treatments that work against COVID-19. 12 treatments were trialled at 181 sites with over 40,000 participants. As of June 2021, 3 treatments have been shown to be effective, and 4 treatments have been shown to be ineffective. The right-hand side of the infographic explains that dexamethasone has antiinflammatory and immunosuppressant effects which may explain the positive results. It's estimated that dexamethasone has saved 22,000 lives in the UK and 1,000,000 lives worldwide. The RECOVERY trial has also shown which treatments are ineffective, including hydroxychloroquine, and set a precedent for how large-scale trials can be carried out during an emergency situation.
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On this day (16 June) a year ago, the first effective treatment for COVID-19 was announced. The corticosteroid drug dexamethasone, already used to treat several inflammatory and autoimmune conditions, was found to be effective for patients in a serious condition in hospital with COVID. This discovery was the product of the RECOVERY trial, a programme started in March 2020 to find COVID treatments.

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