Public health

Oral steroids no good for chest infections

Tuesday, 29 Aug 2017

Oral steroids are increasingly being used as a treatment for chest infections as a way to avoid antibiotics, but new research concludes they don’t work.

The study in JAMA randomised 401 adults with symptoms of acute lower respiratory tract infection to treatment with oral prednisolone 40 mg daily for 5 days or placebo.

The steroid treated patients’ coughs lasted just as long as the placebo treated group, the researchers found.

“Oral corticosteroids should not be used for acute lower respiratory tract infection symptoms in adults without asthma because they do not reduce symptom duration or severity,” they concluded.

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