Systemic corticosteroids for acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Walters, J. A. E., Gibson, P. G., Wood-Baker, R., Hannay, M., & Walters, E. H. (2009). Systemic corticosteroids for acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (1). doi:10.1002/14651858.CD001288.pub3.
People with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), sometimes called emphysema or chronic (obstructive) bronchitis, have episodes of deterioration which may need a hospital stay. Such exacerbations are often caused by infections. Treatment with corticosteroids, such as prednisolone, prednisone or cortisone, has become common. This review found that corticosteroids help improve symptom such as breathlessness, improve lung function, shorten hospital stays and reduce the need to seek extra medical attention. There are some short lived side effects. The optimal corticosteroid regime has not been defined.