President treated with steroid dexamethasone

Dexamethasone: What you need to know

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump was given a dose of the steroid dexamethasone in the course of his coronavirus treatment, his medical team said Sunday.

Trump was given the steroid Saturday after suffering a second drop in oxygen levels, Dr. Sean Conley said. The president was given supplemental oxygen at the White House Friday. It was unclear if it was given again Saturday. His current level is 98%.

“Over the course of his illness, the President has experienced two episodes of transient drops in his oxygen saturation,” Conley said. “We debated the reasons for this, and whether we’d even intervene. It was a determination of the team based on the timeline from the initial diagnosis that we initiate dexamethasone.”

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Dexamethasone is the latest of several treatments the president is taking. He has also been given the experimental drug Regeneron. He is also on a five-day dosage of remdesivir and has taken various over-the-counter medications.

While Regeneron and remdesivir are recommended to be taken early in the course of treatment, dexamethasone is not.

The drug has been shown to improve patient survival, The Associated Press reported. Steroids reduce inflammation, which sometimes develops in patients with the coronavirus.

While its use has shown promise, the World Health Organization advised against using it early in the treatment of the virus because it can impede recovery. In September, the health group recommended its use in critically ill coronavirus patients, The New York Times reported.

The National Institutes of Health recommends the drug’s use for patients who need a ventilator or who might need supplemental oxygen. The board said the steroid should not be used in patients who did not need supplemental oxygen.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.