Hocus Potus: is Trump drugged up for no reason? Experts are ...


Hocus Potus: is Trump drugged up for no reason? Experts are stumped

Some say use of a powerful steroid means he’s very ill, while others insist he’s overmedicated

Dominic Penna

The range of drugs being taken by Donald Trump to treat his coronavirus infection has led to confusion among medical experts over his health, with some convinced the use of dexamethasone (https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-dexamethasone-and-covid-19), a powerful steroid, means he is seriously unwell. Others, however, believe he is being overmedicated after reports of the long list of medication he is receiving at the Walter Reed hospital in Washington DC.

Trump will take dexamethasone “for the time being”, said his physician, in addition to remdesivir, an antiviral, as well as vitamin D and an antibody cocktail. Dexamethasone is a cheap and widely available drug that has been on the World Health Organisation list of essential medicines since 1997. The drug reduces the risk of death in coronavirus patients on ventilators by a third. Among those who are not on ventilators, this figure is about a fifth. However, scientists agree dexamethasone has no benefit to patients who are not seriously ill, and the WHO cautions against its use in mild cases, while more than two weeks of use can incur weight gain and mood swings.

“It’s not effective in patients who do not require oxygen, ventilatory support and so on,” said Martin Landray, the Oxford University professor who led a trial in June 2020 proving its effectiveness in serious cases...

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