Researchers have located that the oral use of steroids in the patients suffering from inflammatory diseases majorly increases infection risks. Further, this risk increases as the doses go higher. This particular study, published over the journal named CMAJ, studied more than 40,000 patients suffering from polymyalgia rheumatic/giant cell arteritis living in England.
The researchers also located higher infection risks when the patients started taking the oral steroids as opposed to when they weren’t taking the same. Mar Pujades-Rodriguez, a researcher from working with the University of Leeds based in the United Kingdom, stated that during periods with the prescribed medication, the patient’s risk went 50 percent higher as opposed to the times when it wasn’t prescribed. The risk ranged between 48 percent for the fungal to around 70 percent for the bacterial infections.
The steroids include prednisone, prednisolone, cortisone, and hydrocortisone. The risks for infection enhanced as the doses got higher. It was elevated with low amount of daily doses which was below 6 mg prednisolone. According to these findings, around 56 percent of the patients suffered from infection with most known being the infections in lower-respiratory tract. In order to combat this issue, clinicians and patients need to be educated with regards to the infection risk.