J Pharm Pract. 2020 Sep 24:897190020961226. doi: 10.1177/0897190020961226. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Recent literature and guidelines support treatment of severe acute exacerbation of COPD (AECOPD) with prednisone 40 mg (or equivalent) for 5 days.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine whether systemic corticosteroids were being prescribed at the appropriate dose and duration in the treatment of severe AECOPD at a large academic medical institution.
METHODS: This was a single-center, retrospective, observational study conducted to evaluate corticosteroid prescribing patterns for adults admitted for severe AECOPD from March to May 2019 at a large academic medical institution. Appropriate therapy was defined as: prednisone 40 mg (or equivalent) for 5 days. The primary outcome was to determine the frequency of appropriate dose and duration. The secondary outcomes were to identify the frequency of appropriate dose or duration, compare the prevalence of adverse effects, such as new/worsening hyperglycemia or hypertension, and compare 30- and 90-day readmission rates.
RESULTS: Of the 190 patients included, 16 (8.4%) had an appropriate duration and 8 (4.2%) an appropriate dose. Only 4 patients (2.1%) had both appropriate corticosteroid dose and duration. New/worsening hyperglycemia occurred in 96 (50.5%), and hypertension developed in 13 (6.8%). Thirty-day readmission occurred in 46 (24.2%) and 90-day readmission in 78 (41.1%). These were more likely in those without appropriate dose and duration.
CONCLUSION: Systemic corticosteroids for the treatment of severe AECOPD are not prescribed in accordance with evidence-based recommendations at this institution. This might result in a greater incidence of adverse effects and readmissions.