Do steroids help fight COVID?
Both the World Health Organization and National Institutes of Health recommend against the use of steroids in non-critically ill patients with COVID-19.1,2 This recommendation is based largely on the Recovery Trial where of 1,535 patients with COVID-19 who did not require oxygen (non-critically ill) were randomized to steroids or usual care.3 The 28-day mortality rate was 17.8% (89/501) in the steroid group and 14.0% in the usual care group (145/1034). Effectively the 28-day mortality rate was 19% higher in the steroid group verses those receiving usual care. Here is the source information for these studies:
1. https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/WHO-2019-nCoV-therapeutics-2022.1 Updated Jan. 14, 2022. Accessed Jan 31,2022.
2. https://www.covid19treatmentguidelines.nih.gov/management/clinical-management/nonhospitalized-adults–therapeutic-management/ Updated Jan 14, 2022. Accessed Jan 31, 2022.
3. Lim W.S., Emberson J.R., Mafham M., et al. Dexamethasone in hospitalized patients with Covid-19. N. Engl. J. Med. 2021;384(8):693–704. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2021436.