Cheap pill cures pneumonia faster

1st June 2011, Comments 0 comments

A cheap anti-inflammatory pill helps cure pneumonia faster and makes that patients after a month feel better too.

Internists Hilde Remmelts and Sabine Meijvis, who made the discovery, published their findings in the British medical journal The Lancet on Wednesday.

Pneumonia is traditionally treated with antibiotics, but these medicines do not treat the underlying infection. When anti-inflammatory drugs are also administered, patients can go home a day earlier.

The two doctors treated several hundred pneumonia patients with dexamethason in addition to antibiotics. These patients got better faster and one month after their discharge from hospital still felt better than patients who were not treated with the anti-inflammatory drug. The pills cost about 10 euros a piece, while one day of hospitalisation costs 500 euros.

Each year, about 135,000 people in the Netherlands catch pneumonia, one-fifth of whom are admitted to hospital.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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