Update on Dexamethasone

You may have heard the new reports about ‘dexamethasone’, a medicine being tested in the UK for COVID-19 treatment in acute hospital care.

Dexamethasone belongs to a class of drugs known as ‘corticosteroids‘ and is used to treat a range of conditions related to inflammation. Most commonly, it is used in acute severe conditions and cancer (e.g. brain cancers) but also severe allergies, some types of nausea and vomiting, severe arthritis, swelling of the brain and spinal cord, severe asthma and more.

We are monitoring this issue closely.

In Australia, dexamethasone is rarely used for rheumatological conditions. The trial evidence suggests it is only beneficial for COVID-19 patients who are experiencing respiratory distress and who are under the supervision of hospital staff.

Resources:ABC News ‘Dexamethasone: the cheap, old and boring drug that’s a potential coronavirus treatment’ https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-17/dexamethasone-potential-coronavirus-treatment/12365170