Japan OKs dexamethasone as second drug for coronavirus treatment

Kyodo -- Jul 22
Japan's health ministry has approved the use of the steroid drug dexamethasone for the treatment of novel coronavirus patients, following the approval of remdesivir in May, it came to light on Tuesday.

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 respiratory disease caused by the virus.

The inexpensive and easy to obtain drug is used to treat a wide range of conditions including lung disease. It is also covered by medical insurance.

Dexamethasone was mentioned as a government approved drug in a revised version of a Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare handbook for treating COVID-19 patients.

[Pharmacist Online] Dexamethasone is a type of corticosteroid , which is an anti-inflammatory which is used to treat many conditions such as, rheumatic problems ,

severe allergies , asthma , chronic obstructive lung disease , croup , brain swelling and many many more.

How does it work?

When Covid 19 virus enters the body, it damages the body cells and

triggers inflammatory reactions and causes cells to release chemicals

like histamine, bradykinin, and prostaglandins. These chemicals cause blood vessels to leak fluid into the tissues, causing swelling isolating the virus from further contact with the body tissues. and the fluid also brings in White Blood cells to eat up the virus. However too much swelling where too much fluid in built in the lungs make it hard to breath. That’s why some Covid 19 patients need oxygen therapy or mechanical ventilator to help them breath.

Inflammatory reaction suppose to be a good reaction to fight the virus. but

when inflammatory reaction is too severe, before the virus kills the person,

the person’s own inflammatory response has already killed him or herself.

This is where Dexamethasone, an anti-inflammatory comes into place to

reduce the inflammatory reaction of the body.

Dexamethasone dosage for Covid 19

Currently the recommended dose is 6mg daily Intravenously or orally for up

to 10 days in adults with COVID-19 who are receiving oxygen (with

or without ventilators)

Side effects of Dexamethasone

When DEXMETHSONE is taken for short periods of time, even at high

doses, it is unlikely to cause any problems.

Problems usually only occur when it is taken long term. So in the case of

Covid 19 treatment, it shouldn't be a problem.

- Kyodo