High-dose COVID-19 treatment less effective in India than Europe: Lancet study

The study looked at how well a strong dose of dexamethasone worked for COVID-19 patients. It considered factors like patient differences and health systems.

November 27, 2023 06:01 pm | Updated December 01, 2023 11:08 am IST - New Delhi

Illustration picture of an ampoule of Dexamethasone is seen. File

Illustration picture of an ampoule of Dexamethasone is seen. File | Photo Credit: Reuters

A higher dose of the steroid drug, dexamethasone, may have less beneficial effects for COVID-19 patients in India as compared with those in Europe, according to a study published in The Lancet Regional Health - Southeast Asia journal.

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The study looked at how well a strong dose of dexamethasone worked for COVID-19 patients. It considered factors like patient differences and health systems.

The team, including researchers from Copenhagen University Hospital - Rigshospitalet, Denmark found that bigger dose of dexamethasone (12 mg) did not seem to be as good as the usual dose (6 mg) for COVID-19 patients in India.

This was seen through survival rates and how well people were doing after 90 and 180 days, they said.

"Our analysis suggests higher dose dexamethasone may have less beneficial effects for patients in India as compared with those in Europe; however, the evidence is weak, and this could represent a chance finding," the authors of the study noted.

The researchers also looked at safety, finding no major issues for Indian patients.

The study emphasises that where patients are from can affect how well treatments work. It pointed out that in lower-middle-income countries like India, there are unique challenges that might make the treatment not work as well.

However, the good news is that the bigger dose didn't cause more problems for Indian patients, which is important for their safety, the researchers said.

They said this is just one study, and more research is needed to be sure of the findings.

The study also reminds us that treatments might work differently in different parts of the world, according to the researchers.

The team also included researchers from Apollo Hospitals, Chennai, Homi Bhabha National Institute, Mumbai, the George Institute for Global Health, New Delhi, and the University of New South Wales, Australia.

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