Corticosteroids for children and adults with pneumonia

Added March 27, 2020

Citation: Stern A, Skalsky K, Avni T, et al. Corticosteroids for pneumonia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2017; (12): CD007720

What is this? Some patients with COVID-19 will develop pneumonia, which can become a serious and life-threatening illness. Corticosteroids have been suggested for the treatment of other types of infection and are used in the treatment of pneumonia.

In this Cochrane systematic review, the authors searched for randomized trials of the effectiveness of corticosteroids for pneumonia in children and adults with pneumonia. They did their search in March 2017. They included 4 studies in children (310 participants) and 13 studies in adults (1954 participants).

What works: Corticosteroids significantly reduce mortality in adults with severe pneumonia.

Corticosteroids reduce morbidity in adults with non-severe pneumonia.

What doesn’t work: Corticosteroids did not significantly reduce morbidity in adults with non-severe pneumonia.

What’s uncertain: Although corticosteroids may improve some clinical outcomes in children with pneumonia, the effects are uncertain.


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