The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has cautioned the public against the use of dexamethasone for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19 despite preliminary result from the recovery trial in the United Kingdom (UK).
The drug has proven to reduce deaths in COVID-19 patients on ventilators and oxygen.
Despite this breakthrough, the FDA says it should not be used for the prevention of COVID-19.
In a statement, the authority said:
1. Dexamethasone is shown to be beneficial only in preventing some deaths in COVID-19 patients on ventilators and oxygen and not Asymptomatic or mild to moderately ill patients.
2. Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid and its classified as a prescription-only-medicine and should only be prescribed and used under medical supervision in COVID-19 or for any other disease.
3. Dexamethasone suppresses the immune system, and in the UK study, this effect was beneficial and needed in order to suppress the clinically problematic excessive immune precaution in severe and critical COVID-19 cases.
4. Dexamethasone should therefore not under any circumstances be used for the prevention of COVID-19 as its potential to suppress the immune system would counteracts the body’s natural functions to fight against COVID-19 and other infections in long term use
5. Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid medicine that can only be prescribed by a license medical practitioner for specific indications and can have some serious side effects.
The FDA stressed against the purchase, stocking, and use of dexamethasone or any other corticosteroid medicine unless certified by health care professionals.