Three new studies strongly support using inexpensive and widely available drugs to treat people who are seriously ill with COVID-19.
Some doctors have long used steroids to treat conditions related to COVID-19, namely sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome. The drugs are steroids, and the research published Wednesday confirms they are proving to be the most effective treatment found to date.
In June, a major study from the U.K. found that the steroid dexamethasone was a big help. It reduced deaths significantly among the most serious cases of COVID-19 — notably people who needed ventilators or supplemental oxygen.
So those studies all ended prematurely. Researchers from three research groups have now published the findings they had gathered in the journal JAMA. One group is from France, one is from Brazil, and the third is an international team that includes the University of Pittsburgh’s Angus.
What is sepsis?
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)
Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a life-threatening lung injury that allows fluid to leak into the lungs. Breathing becomes difficult and oxygen cannot get into the body. Most people who get ARDS are already at the hospital for trauma or illness.
Image courtesy Soumyabrata Roy / NurPhoto via Getty Images