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.

 

Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on the coronavirus (COVID-19) but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the basis of this summary alone.

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