The cheap steroid hydrocortisone can cut Covid-19 deaths by almost a third in the sickest patients, research has found.
An analysis co-ordinated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) of seven different studies found three steroids – hydrocortisone, methylprednisolone and dexamethasone – reduce the risk of death in critically ill coronavirus patients by 20 per cent.
It bumped up to 31 per cent for hydrocortisone, a drug widely used to treat allergic disorders, skin conditions, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, or lung problems.
The study, from the University of Bristol, is one of three published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), that suggests steroids improve survival of the most seriously ill Covid-19 patients.
Another found hydrocortisone can improve outcomes by up to 93 per cent in critically ill patients – measured by either a greater chance or survival or a reduced need for organ support in