Dr. Siegel hails results of research into anti-inflammatory drug as 'sign of hope' in coronavirus fight

Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel told "Tucker Carlson Tonight" Tuesday that while the anti-inflammatory steroid dexamethasone shows great promise in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, he still wants to see how it fares in "peer-reviewed" studies.

Earlier Tuesday, researchers at Oxford University announced preliminary results of a study showing that dexamethasone had been found to reduce deaths in patients receiving oxygen by one-fifth and in patients on ventilators by one-third.

Siegel explained that the drug works by suppresses the inflammation caused by coronavirus -- which can gravely affected patients' lungs and heart.

"[Inflammatory symptoms are] what is causing death to the circulatory system and lungs of most patients," he said.

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"I'm very excited about this ... I want to wait until it’s peer-reviewed and published, but this is clearly a tool in my tool shed," Siegel added. "[It's] something we can use against COVID-19 along with remdesivir, the antiviral drug we talked about previously."

According to Siegel, dexamethasone has been around since 1957 and costs only about $1 per day. He added that he has prescribed it many times for its other accepted uses, which include arthritis, immune system issues and certain allergic reactions.

"This is a sign of hope," he said. "This is for people that get really ill, people that have underlying conditions, people that are elderly, people in nursing homes."