The public has been warned not to misuse or consume dexamethasone without a doctor’s prescription.
The steroid, used since the 1960s to reduce inflammation, should only be used for advance Covid-19 cases – those in category four or five, said Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
“We have been using this medication from the start. It’s not something new but because of Covid-19, every day brings new lessons and challenges.
He said in his daily briefing, Health ministry ( MOH) have evidence showing that the medication works in category five patients. It’s not for category one or two and it must be prescribed by a doctor. Because the usage of this medication has its side effects and complications.
For your information:
- Category one is for positive cases with no symptoms.
- Category two is for positive cases with mild symptoms.
- Category three is for positive cases with pneumonia.
- Category four patients are those who have inflammation in the lungs and require oxygen.
- Category five patients are those who came to the hospital in the late stages and require ventilator support.
Dr Noor Hisham said the recommendation was for the drug to be used only for five days on a patient. Prolonged of usage may caused side effects like thinning of the skin, bone loss, and muscle weakness.
According to a BBC report, researches led by a team from Oxford University said that dexamethasone, which is available cheaply, cuts the risk of death by a third for patients on ventilators. For those on oxygen, it cut deaths by a fifth.
Source : The Star