No ‘magic pill’: Health official warns against self-medicating with dexamethasone

The steroid drug dexamethasone has yet to be approved in the Philippines as a COVID-19 treatment and should not be considered a miracle drug that could singlehandedly cure the virus, the Department of Health said today.

“People might think that this is the magic pill for COVID-19. It is not,” Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told reporters in a media forum.

Vergeire’s statement comes after initial trial results from the United Kingdom found that the drug prevented the deaths of one-third of intubated and critically-ill COVID-19 patients, a finding that the World Health Organization called a  “lifesaving scientific breakthrough.”

Read: Health Department warns against use of Carrimycin in treating COVID-19

Vergeire said that dexamethasone is a steroid, and therefore has anti-inflammatory properties that may help people infected with the virus.

She added that the drug was already a “supportive treatment” for patients who are severely infected with the virus and the findings’ preliminary results will still need to be “peer-reviewed” to ensure that they are “acceptable” to be given to Filipino patients.

Vergeire also reiterated that there is still no known cure or vaccine against COVID-19.

Despite cautioning Pinoys against self-medicating with the drug, Vergeire acknowledged that the initial trials on dexamethasone were indeed a “breakthrough” in COVID-19 cure research.

To date the Philippines has at least 26,781 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 1,103 deaths, and 6,552 recoveries.

This article, No ‘magic pill’: Health official warns against self-medicating with dexamethasone, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!