Widely Used Steroid Showing Promise In Treating Coronavirus Patients

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Hospitals across Florida are struggling to keep some of the most promising therapies on hand. 

Just this week, Gov. Ron DeSantis promised local hospitals that more Remdesivir is on the way. 

“The supplies have been limited,” said DeSantis. “We've worked very closely with the White House to be able to continue replenishing the supply of Remdesivir.”

Meanwhile, there continues to be hope for more treatment options, including one that doctors say is readily available, a fraction of the price and backed by a big study -- a steroid called dexamethasone. 

“We're very familiar with this medication. We've been using it for decades,” said Dr. Sajive Aleyas, an interventional pulmonologist and critical care attendant at Cleveland Clinic Weston. 

Aleyas says he’s now using the steroid to treat certain COVID-19 patients. 

He says dexamethasone has anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressant properties and has been used for years for things like asthma, COPD, pneumonia even arthritis.

“We had a hunch that this might be very helpful for us with COVID-19 patients,” said Aleyas. “Based on this hunch, colleagues in the UK did a great study a randomized control trial.” 

And he says the results were promising. 

“It’s one of the few trials that we have with COVID that actually shows that it saves lives," Aleyas said.

However, it's not for all COVID-19 patients. Based on the findings from the study, it’s only beneficial for patients who have progressed to the inflammatory stage of the virus, where they start to need oxygen. 

“What we're hoping is that dexamthesone might actually help prevent patients from needing mechanical ventilationm," Aleyas said.

And it could even prevent patients from needing other treatment options like Remdesivir, according to Aleyas. 

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