Dexamethasone makes musicians and mountain climbers—and presidents—feel invincible.
Two stories about the effects of dexamethasone, the steroid being administered to President Trump as part of his kitchen-sink treatment for COVID-19.
From Andrew Leahey in Rolling Stone: "I Was Prescribed Trump’s Steroid. It Made Me Feel Invincible"
I took dexamethasone every day, as prescribed, steadily ramping up to a full dose. During that time, I also booked an acoustic tour with two fellow songwriters who happened to be dating. They broke up while we were driving through California, and I’m not sure I even realized. I’m not sure I even cared. I just sat in the backseat as we traveled from town to town, my head in the clouds, and spent my nights onstage, playing guitar solos that were almost certainly too long. In my mind, I thought I was performing better than ever: unencumbered, unafraid, limitless. To audiences that may have seen me on that tour: man, I’m sorry.
From Devon O'Neil in Outside: "Climbing's Little Helper"
Because it inhibits cerebral swelling, dex is a terrific life rope for climbers who start to show signs of edema. It’s most often taken in pill form, but it can also be injected during emergencies. High-altitude doctors refer to it as a magic bullet, and some Spanish-speaking mountaineers have taken to calling it levanta muertos, because, as Argentine guide Damian Benegas says, “it brings life to a dead person.” The most famous case of this occurred during the 1996 Everest disaster, when Beck Weathers rose from a comatose state after Alpine Ascents guide Pete Athans gave him dex.