Navigation Links
Corticosteroids May Speed Pneumonia Recovery in Some

TUESDAY, May 31 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with an inflammatory lung condition known as community-acquired pneumonia appear to recover faster when treated with corticosteroids in addition to the standard regimen of antibiotics, Dutch researchers say.

Those treated with a combination of corticosteroids and antibiotics also required a shorter hospital stay than patients treated with antibiotics alone, the study authors found.

The observations stem from what is believed to be the largest study to date focused on the potential of corticosteroids for the treatment of community-acquired pneumonia, or CAP.

Dr. Sabine Meijvis, from the St. Antonius Hospital in Nieuwegein, the Netherlands, and colleagues reported their findings in the May 31 online edition of The Lancet.

Meijvis and her team noted that, currently, CAP is typically treated with antibiotics following an early diagnosis.

To explore whether corticosteroids might reduce the risk for complications and fatalities, the team focused on just over 300 Dutch CAP patients. Half of the patients were placed on a standard antibiotic protocol coupled with 5 milligrams a day of the corticosteroid dexamethasone. The other half were given antibiotics plus a placebo (an inactive treatment).

After four days, the research team found that those given the corticosteroid experienced less lung inflammation, and recovered more quickly than those who were just given antibiotics.

The corticosteroid group also required one less day of hospitalization than the antibiotic group (6.5 days versus 7.5 days). In addition, by the end of one month, the corticosteroid group had experienced better "social functioning" relative to the antibiotic group, the investigators found.

"Serious adverse events were rare" among the corticosteroid group, the study team noted in a journal news release, while at the same time cautioning that "the benefits of corticosteroids should be weighed against the potential disadvantages of these drugs, such as superinfections and gastric disturbances."

Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said the findings were in line with what he might expect.

"It doesn't surprise me because corticosteroids are used as nuclear anti-inflammatories," he said, noting they might suppress an otherwise lingering fever within 24 hours. "And they would mask a lot of symptoms and make a patient feel generally better whether they're asthmatics or have some inflammatory disease."

"But the downside," he cautioned, "is that we know that corticosteroids are immune-suppressive. And so the possibility exists that when you use them, you could be prolonging the actual recovery time even as you are masking the symptoms, although this study doesn't say that."

This is a potential danger for otherwise healthy people and especially so for those who have high blood pressure or diabetes, he said. "So any medication is a double-edged sword," he added. "And the use of corticosteroids in this case has to be weighed against possible complications."

More information

For more on pneumonia, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

-- Alan Mozes

SOURCE: Len Horovitz, M.D., pulmonary specialist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City, and Northshore-LIJ Health System; The Lancet, news release, May 31, 2011

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Use of topical corticosteroids in children with eczema does not have negative side effects
2. Speed, Size Predict Teen Football Players Rankings
3. New cotton candy-like glass fibers appear to speed healing in venous stasis wound trial
4. Making temporary changes to brain could speed up learning, study reports
5. Breast cancer patients persistent fatigue is real, may actually speed up aging
6. Allergy Drug May Speed Up Kids Ability to Tolerate Milk
7. High Blood Pressure Linked to Drop in Walking Speed, Study Finds
8. As we sleep, speedy brain waves boost our ability to learn
9. Early Rehab May Help Speed Recovery After Knee Surgery
10. Speedy generic approval may not benefit consumers as much as expected, Rotman model shows
11. Report Blames Speedy FDA Clearance for Medical Device Recalls
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Corticosteroids May Speed Pneumonia Recovery in Some
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... , ... ProSidebar: Fashion is a set of 30 kinetic edge ... video editors can easily add an informative sidebar to any FCPX production. Create ... featuring self-animating drop zones, lines, bars, and text with the ease of FCPX's drag ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 27, 2015 , ... Intellitec Solutions announced today that they ... Recognized as Microsoft’s official group for end users of Dynamics SL ERP software, ... industry experts and representatives. Intellitec Solutions’ membership status demonstrates their ongoing commitment to ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Keeping in ... for mental health and wellness consultation, has collaborated with a leading web-based marketplace ... knowledge gap experienced by parents and bring advice from parenting experts within their ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 27, 2015 , ... Dr. Thomas Dunlap and Dr. Patrick ... Bierbaum with Emergency Medicine at St., Joseph Health System’s Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital ... present in similar ways and require time-critical intervention to avoid large area heart damage ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Patients ... central Michigan, have come together on Thanksgiving Day to share the things that ... viewing on the Serenity Point YouTube channel, patients displayed what they wrote on ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 AAIPharma Services Corp./Cambridge Major ... at least $15.8  Million to expand its laboratories ... . The expansion will provide additional office ... growing demands of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology markets. ... will provide up to 40,000 square feet of ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015  Henry Schein, Inc., the world,s largest ... dental, medical and animal health practitioners, will unveil at ... Henry Schein ConnectDental® Pavilion , which brings together for ... solutions designed to help any practice or laboratory enter ... for a schedule of experts appearing at the Pavilion. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015  Trovagene, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... announced that Chief Executive Officer Antonius Schuh, Ph.D., is ... th Annual Piper Jaffray Healthcare Conference. ... New York Palace Hotel in New York ... p.m. EST. Mr. Schuh will be available for one-on-one ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: