The updated protocol includes the advice to use dexamethasone as an alternative choice to methylprednisolone for managing moderate to severe cases of coronavirus.
The health ministry on June 13 had also allowed the use of antiviral drug ‘remdesivir’ for restricted emergency use and off-label application of tocilizumab, a drug that modifies the immune system or its functioning, and convalescent plasma for treating coronavirus patients in moderate stage of the illness as an ‘investigational therapy’.
According to the revised ‘Clinical Management Protocols for COVID-19’, dexamethasone which is already used in treating lung infections besides in a wide range of conditions for its anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressant effects can be used as an alternative to methylprednisolone which already existed in the treatment guidelines.
According to WHO, the corticosteroid dexamethasone was tested in hospitalised patients with coronavirus in the United Kingdom’s national clinical trial ‘RECOVERY’ and was found to have benefits for critically ill patients.
An inexpensive, widely used steroid ‘dexamethasone’was included in the treatment protocols for coronavirus patients in moderate to severe stages of illness among other therapeutic measures by the Union health ministry on Saturday.