Japan approves dexamethasone as coronavirus treatment

The results of a trial in June showed dexamethasone as the first drug to save lives of Covid-19 patients.
The results of a trial in June showed dexamethasone as the first drug to save lives of Covid-19 patients.PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan's health ministry has approved dexamethasone, a cheap and widely used steroid, as a second treatment of Covid-19 after a trial in Britain showed the drug reduced death rates in hospitalised patients.

The ministry included dexamethasone as an option for treatment along with antiviral drug remdesivir in a recent revision to its handbook. The revision was widely reported by Japanese media on Wednesday (July 22).

In results announced last month, a trial by researchers in the United Kingdom showed dexamethasone as the first drug to save lives of Covid-19 patients in what scientists said was a major breakthrough in the coronavirus pandemic.