The Independent Community Pharmacy Association of South Africa (ICPA) has raised concerns on the use of the drug, Dexamethasone, to prevent COVID-19.

A study by the University of Oxford in Britain has found that the steroid reduced mortality by a third in patients who required ventilator support, and further reduced mortality in patients who needed oxygen, by as much as one fifth.

CEO of the Independent Community Pharmacy Association, Jackie Maimin, says Dexamethasone is not a cure or preventative drug for COVID-19.

She says reports indicate that those with access to the drug may be stockpiling it.

“A lot of people think Dexamethesone, I must get some, and start taking it to prevent COVID-19. It is not a medicine which can prevent COVID-19. In fact, if you take it while you are well, you could be doing yourself a lot of harm because it lowers your immune system and by lowering your immune response, you actually make yourself more susceptible to being infected by COVID-19,” explains Maimin.

The video below discusses the effectiveness of Dexamethesone: