White House doctor announced Trump is being treated with dexamethasone. Here’s what we know about the drug.

President Donald Trump’s condition has continued to improve since being taken to the hospital Friday due to symptoms from a COVID-19 infection, White House physician Sean Conley told reporters on Sunday. 

Trump arrives at Walter Reed after COVID diagnosis

UP NEXT

UP NEXT

Conley had previously said he was using a “multi-prong” approach to treat Trump. He said Sunday that included the steroid dexamethasone in response to Trump’s blood oxygen level dropping twice.

An affordable, widely available steroid, dexamethasone has shown promise in improving survival outcomes in COVID-19 patients.

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

Although the British government has authorized its use among some patients, it remains unclear how beneficial the treatment may be for less severe COVID-19 cases. Further, it has not been peer-reviewed or replicated in other studies.



a man wearing a suit and tie: Dr. Sean Conley, physician to President Donald Trump, briefs reporters at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020.


© Jacquelyn Martin, AP
Dr. Sean Conley, physician to President Donald Trump, briefs reporters at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020.

“This is a significant improvement in the available therapeutic options that we have,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States’ top infectious disease expert.

What we know about the potentially lifesaving treatment:

What is dexamethasone?

Usually prescribed as an oral or intravenous steroid, dexamethasone is a general purpose anti-inflammatory and anti-swelling drug used for a variety of conditions, said Dr. Onyema Ogbuagu, an infectious disease doctor and associate professor of medicine at Yale, in June.

Like other steroids, however, “it is a non-specific treatment not necessarily targeting a single, specific pathway of inflammation or swelling,” Ogbuagu says. That has its drawbacks.

How is it used to treat COVID-19 patients?

Generally, COVID-19 comes in two phases, explained Ogbuagu. 

“People get the virus, it replicates, and that’s the first phase of the illness,” he said. “Afterward, around 10 days into the infection, people start to produce antibodies and inflammatory reactions to the virus.”

Video: Trump required oxygen treatments but could be discharged as early as Monday (POLITICO)

Trump required oxygen treatments but could be discharged as early as Monday

UP NEXT

UP NEXT

These inflammatory chemicals can sometimes create severe COVID-19 complications, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, which makes it difficult for oxygen to enter the bloodstream and reach organs.

Patients with severe COVID-19 complications saw significant benefits with dexamethasone in the United Kingdom study. These patients took it for 10 days, either orally or via IV.

As of June, it had reduced deaths by 35% in patients who needed treatment with breathing machines and by 20% in those needing supplemental oxygen. It did not appear to help less ill patients.

Trump is receiving lots of medical care. Some doctors wonder if it’s too much.

Are there complications?

Ogbuagu notes that timing and selectiveness among patients is critical to ensure dexamethasone is properly used as a treatment for COVID-19. 

Early findings suggest COVID-19 patients who do not have severe symptoms, such as requiring a respirator, should not take dexamethasone. 

“The

Read more

Here’s What Trump Has Been Treated With for COVID, According to the White House Doctor

Following President Donald Trump’s positive COVID-19 diagnosis, the White House revealed that he is receiving an experimental antibody treatment along with other treatment drugs while staying in a presidential suite at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.



a man wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump gestures while leaving the White House for Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C. on October 2, 2020.


© Drew Angerer/Getty
President Donald Trump gestures while leaving the White House for Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C. on October 2, 2020.

According to two separate memos released on Friday by White House Physician Dr. Sean Conley, the president is currently undergoing Remdesivir therapy and was given a single 8-gram dose of the experimental polyclonal antibody cocktail Regeneron, before heading to the Walter Reed Medical Center as a precautionary measure.

In addition to those treatments, he is also taking zinc, vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin and daily aspirin.

Conley says that Trump is “in good spirits” and that he is being evaluated by a team of experts during his hospital stay. He also mentioned that Trump did not require oxygen.

Remdesivir is an experimental intravenous antiviral medication that was announced as a prominent tool for fighting the coronavirus back in April. During a meeting at the Oval Office that month, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, said that while it wasn’t a “knockout,” the drug was still “a very important proof of concept”—adding that “what it has proven is that a drug can block this virus.”

World Reacts To Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Testing Positive For Coronavirus

UP NEXT

UP NEXT

Video: Understanding the president’s symptoms (ABC News)

Understanding the president’s symptoms

UP NEXT

UP NEXT

However, the drug has shown only modest results so far: it reduces hospital stays from 15 to 11 days but does not significantly reduce a patient’s likelihood of dying from the virus.

Regeneron, the experimental antibody cocktail given to Trump as a single dose, has shown promising results in improving symptoms of COVID-19, as well as reducing virus levels in the body. It has not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is currently being evaluated.

“He completed the infusion without incident,” Conley said in his memo.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that individuals in their early to mid-70s are five times more likely to be hospitalized due to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. The president’s age (74) and weight (244 pounds) put him at significant risk for serious illness in connection with the virus.

Early Friday morning, Trump tweeted that both he and his wife Melania tested positive for Covid-19. He said they are beginning their “quarantine and recovery process immediately.”

Trump has been at the Walter Reed Medical Center since Friday evening with mild symptoms including a fever, cough and congestion. Conley reported that the first lady has only a mild cough and a headache. Other members of the Trump family, including Ivanka Trump, Barron Trump and Jared Kushner, have reportedly tested negative, along with Vice President Mike

Read more

The Cambridges are treated to a back-garden film premiere with Sir David Attenborough

With no red carpet, no flashing paparazzi bulbs and no Hollywood starlets swanning through Leicester Square in glamorous, flesh-baring gowns, it was a royal film premiere like no other.

Instead, Prince William sat on a rickety wooden chair in his back garden alongside a 94-year-old man cloaked in a tartan blanket to ward off the autumn chill.

But that man was Sir David Attenborough, who was unveiling his new documentary – and who received a reception worthy of the hottest Tinseltown star from three eager young fans, Princes George, seven, and Louis, two, and Princess Charlotte, five, after the screening.

Sir David Attenborough received a reception worthy of the hottest Tinseltown star from three eager young fans, Princes George, seven, and Louis, two, and Princess Charlotte, five, after the screening of his new documentary

Sir David Attenborough received a reception worthy of the hottest Tinseltown star from three eager young fans, Princes George, seven, and Louis, two, and Princess Charlotte, five, after the screening of his new documentary

He presented George, seven, with a tooth from an extinct giant shark, which lived 23 million years ago, which he had found on a family holiday to Malta in the late 1960s

He presented George, seven, with a tooth from an extinct giant shark, which lived 23 million years ago, which he had found on a family holiday to Malta in the late 1960s

He presented George, seven, with a tooth from an extinct giant shark, which lived 23 million years ago, which he had found on a family holiday to Malta in the late 1960s.

The three children are all interested in dinosaurs and were fascinated by the megalodon fossil and excitedly asked Sir David a number of questions.

A Palace aide said: ‘The children are massive fans of Sir David and this was the first time they had met him, although they have always wanted to. So they were absolutely delighted, and you can see from Charlotte’s reaction in the picture how excited she was.

‘They were fascinated by the shark tooth and Sir David explained how he had found it, how old it was and how it had been preserved in Malta’s soft yellow limestone.’

Kate, in a new £1,295 Gabriela Hearst denim shirt dress and £475 Rupert Sanderson pumps, smiled as Charlotte, in a £23 Zara floral Peter Pan collar dress, put her hands to her face with excitement.

George, in a £40 Trotters checked shirt and £50 Start-Rite school brogues, handled the giant tooth with evident amazement.

The joyous meeting in Kensington Palace gardens came on Thursday afternoon after William, 38, and the veteran broadcaster watched David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet, about the naturalist’s 70-year career as a conservationist and the environmental crisis facing the planet.

Socially distanced in the open air, the Duke of Cambridge and Sir David were offered directors’ chairs with their names printed on the back – but as a joke they sat in each other’s seats. The pair then watched the 80-minute film, and Sir David gave the Prince a copy of the accompanying book.

Socially distanced in the open air, the Duke of Cambridge and Sir David were offered directors’ chairs with their names printed on the back – but as a joke they sat in each other’s seats

Socially distanced in the open air, the Duke of Cambridge and Sir David were offered directors’ chairs with their names printed on the back – but as a joke they sat in each other’s seats

The Palace aide added: ‘The Duke thought it was Sir David’s best documentary yet. It is

Read more