Written bySiddhant Pandey
The development comes as the number of infections in India has hit yet another record spike since Friday.
Earlier this month, researchers in the United Kingdom had found dexamethasone to have life-saving potential in cases of critically-ill COVID-19 patients.
Here are more details.
On Saturday, the Health Ministry updated its 'Clinical Management Protocol: COVID-19'.
For moderate cases, the Health Ministry has approved the use of 0.1-0.2 mg/kg of dexamethasone for three days preferably within 48 hours of admission or if oxygen requirement and inflammatory markers are increasing.
For severe cases, 0.2-0.4 mg/kg of dexamethasone per day has been recommended for 5-7 days (in two divided doses).
Dexamethasone is a low-dose steroid drug that has been on the market for over 60 years.
It is mainly used to reduce inflammation in other diseases such as arthritis.
A British clinical trial had recently found that the drug can reduce mortality by a third for seriously ill patients on a ventilator and by a fifth for those needing oxygen support.
Earlier this month, the Health Ministry had revised the clinical management protocol to add the loss of smell and taste as new symptoms of COVID-19.
Separately, on Thursday, the Hyderabad-based drugmaker Hetero had sent the first batch of its COVID-19 drug to five states including Maharashtra and Delhi, the worst-hit regions.
Hetero's drug, COVIFOR, is the generic version of antiviral drug remdesivir.
According to the Union Health Ministry, as of Saturday morning, India had reported a total of 5,08,953 COVID-19 cases, with an uptick of 18,552 cases in the past 24 hours. This marks the highest single-day spike.
The total cases include 15,685 deaths and 1,97,387 active cases, along with 2,95,880 patients who have been cured or discharged and one patient who migrated out of India.
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