EU watchdog paves way for dexamethasone use in COVID-19 treatment

(Reuters) - Europe's health regulator has endorsed using dexamethasone to treat severely ill COVID-19 patients with breathing difficulty, paving way for the steroidal medication to possibly become the region's second approved medication for the illness.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Friday concluded in its review of results from a trial by British scientists that the drug could be an option to treat adults and adolescents needing oxygen therapy or mechanical ventilation.

Gilead's antiviral drug, remdesivir, was the first to be approved for COVID-19 by Europe in July, a month after the EMA endorsed the drug.

While approvals are up to the European commission, it typically follows the EMA's recommendation for its decision.

Companies that sell the widely available and low-cost dexamethasone, commonly used against a range of inflammatory conditions, can now apply for a license on the expanded use to their national regulators or the EMA, the watchdog said.

It said the recommended dose of the treatment in adults and adolescents, from the age of 12 years and weighing at least 40 kilograms, is 6 milligrams once a day for up to 10 days. (https://bit.ly/3hFGHrK)

(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong and Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

09/18/2020 11:19

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