DOH: Don’t buy dexamethasone for the purpose of preventing COVID-19

MANILA, (Mabuhay) — The Department of Health on Saturday advised the public not to flock to drugstores to buy dexamethasone for use in preventing COVID-19.

“Dapat ‘yung mga kababayan natin, ‘wag bumili kasi ‘di naman siya magagamit to prevent, hindi naman siya magagamit para gamutin ang COVID-19,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

Malacañang on Thursday said dexamethasone is not yet “the miracle pill” that will curb the spread of COVID-19, even as it welcomed studies that showed the steroid can help save critically ill patients.

This was echoed by Vergeire. She said that dexamethasone, as a potential treatment for the disease, has not yet undergone any trial. 

UK researchers found out that the use of  low dose steroid treatment dexamethasone reduced the risk of death of COVID-19 patients by a third, and of COVID-19 patients on oxygen by a fifth.

“Ang sinasabi natin, unang-una, hindi pa siya napi-peer review. Ibig sabihin hindi pa tapos ang pag-aaral,” Vergeire said.

“Pangalawa, binibigay lang siya sa mga severe and critical… Ginagamit lang siya as support para sa gamutan sa COVID-19,” she added.

The Health official reiterated that the low dose steroid worked only on severe and critical cases thus far.

Vergeire also noted that dexamethasone is not an over-the-counter drug and it requires prescription to be purchased.

On Friday, the Philippines reported 28,459 COVID-19 cases with 7,378 recoveries and 1,130 fatalities. (MNS)

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