Healthy Living

Allergy, Infectious Diseases, Pulmonology

Even short term use of oral steroids (less than 30 days) linked to increased risk of severe infection (sepsis), blood clots and fracture

One in five American adults in a commercially insured plan were given prescriptions for short term use of oral corticosteroids during a three year period, with an associated increased risk of adverse events. Of 1.5 million adults, 21% received at least 1 prescription for oral corticosteroids over 3 period.

The most common indications for use were:

– upper respiratory tract infections
– spinal conditions
– allergies.

Within 30 days of drug initiation, there was an increase in rates of:

– sepsis
– venous thromboembolism
– fracture

Risk over the subsequent 31–90 days.

The increased risk persisted at prednisone equivalent doses of less than 20 mg/day.


Short Term Use of Oral Corticosteroids and Related Harms

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