Navigation Links
COPD Patients May Do Fine With Shorter Course of Steroids
Date:5/21/2013

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- Less is more when it comes to steroid therapy for patients having severe bouts of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to Swiss investigators.

Five days of glucocorticoid treatment with prednisone to treat COPD flare-ups was as good as the standard 14 days, but with fewer chances for adverse side effects, they said.

"We wanted to show that a shorter period of treatment was not less effective than 14 days," said lead researcher Dr. Jorg Leuppi, with the department of medicine at the University Hospital of Basel.

The shorter course of treatment had the same outcome as the longer course of treatment, the study found. "There is exactly the same time to recovery and exactly the same number of re-exacerbations," Leuppi said.

In addition, the shorter course of treatment meant fewer side effects from the drug, such as increased blood pressure and elevated blood sugar, he said.

The report was published May 21 in the online edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association to coincide with its Tuesday presentation at the American Thoracic Society meeting in Philadelphia.

COPD is a progressive disease involving bronchitis and emphysema -- often tied to smoking -- that makes it hard for patients to breathe. Patients periodically have flare-ups or exacerbations, when symptoms are at their worst.

Prednisone is a glucocorticoid pill that acts as an anti-inflammatory. Since a generic version is available, it is a relatively low-cost therapy.

"COPD exacerbations, which are the leading cause of medical hospitalization in the U.S. and elsewhere, can be treated with a five-day course of prednisone, which is a corticosteroid, not 10 to 14 days as recommended by most national and international guidelines," said Dr. Don Sin, a professor of medicine at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, and co-author of an accompanying journal editorial.

Corticosteroids are highly toxic drugs, he said. "Thus, by using a five-day versus a 10- to 14-day [course], we will prevent many steroid-related complications -- such as diabetes, osteoporosis and adrenal insufficiency -- without sacrificing any of the benefits of steroids for management of COPD exacerbations," he said. "There is no rationale for giving more steroids than this."

For the study, Leuppi's team randomly assigned more than 300 patients suffering from an acute COPD exacerbation to daily doses of prednisone for either five or 14 days.

The goal of the study was to see whether either treatment resulted in fewer new exacerbations of COPD over six months.

The researchers found that prednisone treatment resulted in about the same number of patients having new bouts of COPD. Among those who got five days of therapy, 56 had a new bout within six months; 57 patients given 14 days of therapy had a new flare-up.

The average time to a new exacerbation of COPD was 43.5 days in the short-term treatment group and 29 days in the standard treatment group, the researchers said.

Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said that "while treatment with corticosteroids is often necessary in exacerbations of COPD, it has not been clear how long the treatment should be given."

"The authors found that a shorter duration of treatment with steroids was possible," he said. "The accompanying side effects were less, and total dose of steroids was less long term."

More information

To learn more about COPD, visit the American Lung Association.

SOURCES: Jorg Leuppi, M.D., Ph.D., department of medicine, University Hospital of Basel, Switzerland; Don Sin, M.D., University of British Columbia James Hogg Research Center, and Institute for Heart and Lung Health, St. Paul's Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia; Len Horovitz, M.D., pulmonary specialist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; May 21, 2013, presentation, American Thoracic Society meeting, Philadelphia; May 21, 2013, Journal of the American Medical Association, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Higher-spending hospitals have fewer deaths for emergency patients
2. Researchers uncover a viable way for colorectal cancer patients to overcome drug resistance
3. Vaccine yielded encouraging long-term survival rates in certain patients with NSCLC
4. Study finds doctors have exaggerated fears when starting patients on insulin
5. Diagnostic Scans Tied to Radiation Risk for Gastro Patients
6. Predictors identified for rehospitalization among post-acute stroke patients
7. Pulse pressure elevation could presage cerebrovascular disease in Alzheimers patients
8. Breast cancer patients suffer treatment-related side effects long after completing care
9. Heart failure patients with diabetes may benefit from higher glucose levels
10. Gastro Woes Often Strike Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients
11. Short Walks May Ease Fatigue in Pancreatic Cancer Patients
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
COPD Patients May Do Fine With Shorter Course of Steroids
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts ... applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention ... health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users can ... CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 hand-drawn ... X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or text ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Dr. Calvin Johnson has ... he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating his patients. The ... first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that orthopaedic surgeons use ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... A recent article published June 14 on E Online ... on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to undergo not only ... calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly Hills Physicians (BHP) ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone ... physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If ... at my other children and say he was going to kill them. If we ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... DUBLIN , June 23, 2016 ... the "Surgical Procedure Volumes: Global Analysis (United States, ... Australia, Canada)" report to their offering. ... an essential tool for healthcare business planners, provides surgical ... looks at surgery trends with an in-depth analysis of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... but it continues to present great opportunities to investors. ... for today: Intrexon Corp. (NYSE: XON ), ... Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ARNA ), and Regeneron ... about these stocks and receive your complimentary trade alerts ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Leading BioSciences Inc., a ... conditions resulting from a breakdown of the mucosal ... Greg Doyle as chief executive officer. Mr. ... management team and board of directors, previously served ... He will provide continued leadership and strategic direction ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: