Oral Corticosteroids for COPD

COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a group of diseases that consist of chronic bronchitis, emphysema and asthmatic bronchitis. Oral corticosteroids tend to work best against COPD with an asthmatic component. Oral corticosteroid is a sufferer of COPD. Oral corticosteroids reduce irritation, swelling and mucus production. A physician may initiate a short trial in patients to determine if they respond to steroids. This trial lasts two to three weeks. If there is no immediate effect after continuous use of oral corticosteroids, this means that they have no value for the use of oral corticosteroids.

Corticosteroid tablet is used when the inflammation becomes severe. Oral corticosteroids have clinically significant effects on symptoms, exacerbations and health status. Oral corticosteroids inconsistently progress lung function in stable outpatients with COPD. In addition, there is a realistic proof for the use of systemic corticosteroids during acute exacerbations of COPD. Using oral corticosteroids for COPD patients decrease death rate and hospitalization.

Oral corticosteroids should be used carefully, to avoid excessive weight loss. Oral corticosteroid reduces the duration and impact of exacerbations. They improve the airflow and lung function, but there are increased side effects such as diabetes and osteoporosis. Low dose oral corticosteroid is often used in the treatment of acute exacerbations of COPD. Oral corticosteroids may be used when symptoms rapidly worsen (COPD exacerbation), especially when there is an increased mucus production.

Long term use of corticosteroids has many side effects such as water retention, bruising, puffy face, increased appetite, weight gain and stomach irritation. It may also impair bone metabolism. For an elderly population, the continuous use of oral corticosteroids for COPD has possible cardiac side effects. Recent studies notice that patients who show continuous use of oral corticosteroids for COPD may also suffer from acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Some proof suggests that patients with COPD who respond to corticosteroids have eosinophilic inflammation and other attributes of an asthma phenotype. Research on oral corticosteroids for COPD exacerbations reports improve lung function and reduced hospitalization. The incidence of treatment failure in the form of return to the hospital, death, or the need for a tube inserted through the mouth or nose and into the chest to deliver oxygen is also reduced.

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