Respir Med. 2020 Aug-Sep;170:106045. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2020.106045. Epub 2020 May 26.
The potential detrimental effects of steroids on the immune system to fight viral infections had always been a concern for patients on long term steroids in chronic conditions. A recent warning from WHO on systemic corticosteroid use amid COVID-19 raised suspicion among public and healthcare professionals regarding the safety of steroid use during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The corticosteroids (inhaled and oral) are commonly prescribed in the management of asthma and COPD patients and any unsolicited changes in medications use may lead to potentially severe exacerbations and may risk patient lives. This article provides a critical review of clinical evidence and offers a detailed discussion on the safety and efficacy of corticosteroids in asthma and COPD patients, both with and without COVID-19.