Nowadays, many people are in confusion if steroids are an essential tool in management of Covid or are they harmful. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the usage of steroids has surely increased and many strategies say that oral and intravenous steroids are one of the main treatments for Covid pneumonia. They can help in preventing and reducing the inflammation that occurs in severe COVID-19. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dr. Puneet Khanna, HOD, Pulmonology & Respiratory Medicine, HCMCT Manipal Hospitals, Delhi, about the usage of steroids and if it is important for every patient.
Side effects of steroids
However, the usage of steroids does not come without side effects. Especially if used in high dose in patients, then there is a high risk of secondary infection, commonly fungal infection. Sugar and blood pressure levels can get unbalanced and get out of control. In long term steroid usage, there can be a negative impact on the bones as well.
Is it important for every patient to take steroids?
It is important to understand that steroids are more useful for patients who have moderate or severe disease. They should only be used for patients with low oxygen levels. Steroids usage should only be done under a doctor's supervision. And, it is also important to withdraw steroids as soon as possible, after the patient's recovery. If we are using steroids without asking a health care expert, then the consequences can be very harmful. A short course of steroids may be considered under strict medical supervision.
In Covid infection, taking steroids at an early stage of the disease can lead to worsening and growth of the virus, as per many experts. Taking high dosage of steroids in mild cases, can even lead to severe viral pneumonia. Moreover, steroids should be avoided in the first five days of the infection.
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