WARNING! Scottish Researchers Warn Against Using Steroids For Any Treatment Protocols For Coronavirus As It Could Do More Harm
Scottish Medical researchers from the University of Edinburgh are warning all clinicians that steroids should be avoided in the treatment of the current novel coronavirus
Steroids are often administered to alleviate certain conditions in respiratory diseases.
A new report published in The Lancet journal concludes that, based on evidence from previous outbreaks of similar types of infection such as SARS coronavirus
, steroids provide little benefit to patients and could do more harm and even complicate treatment.
The researchers say that clinicians should still administer the treatment for conditions such as asthma and other inflammatory diseases. But not for conditions or symptoms associated with coronavirus
Typically, steroids are often used by physicians to reduce inflammation, which is present in the lungs of patients with novel coronavirus
In almost all cases, lung inflammation was observed during the SARS and MERS outbreaks, which were caused by coronaviruses
It was found that steroids impair the immune system's ability to fight viruses and other infections that often develop in patients with life-threatening illness.
The medical experts say that, on balance, using the drugs could cause significant harm.
Past retrospective studies of critically-ill patients with MERS found that almost half of the people that received steroids needed additional treatments such as assistance in breathing, drugs to increase blood pressure, and a form of dialysis.
It was also observed that those patients given steroids were found to take longer to clear the virus from their systems.
Past studies also found that steroids caused harm in the SAR outbreak, with the coronavirus
still present in those patients who took the drugs up to three weeks after infection.
Lead author and Academic Consultant in Critical Care Medicine at University of Edinburgh, Dr. J. Kenneth Baillie told Thailand Medical News
, "During this current coronavirus
outbreak clinicians are faced with some tough decisions on how to treat people who have been infected. After perusing through carefully at what evidence is available, we would advise that steroids should not be used for treatment of lung injury caused by this new coronavirus
He added, “If steroids are used, it should be as part of a clinical trial so that it be ascertained as to whether or not they are helping or harming patients."
Reference : The Lancet (2020). DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30317-2
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