Treated

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 Further, it has not been peer-reviewed or replicated in other studies.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

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