Even short term use of oral steroids (less than 30 days) linked to increased risk of severe infection (sepsis), blood clots and fracture

One in five American adults in a commercially insured plan were given prescriptions for short term use of oral corticosteroids during a three year period, with an associated increased risk of adverse events. Of 1.5 million adults, 21% received at least 1 prescription for oral corticosteroids over 3 period.

The most common indications for use were:

- upper respiratory tract infections
- spinal conditions
- allergies.

Within 30 days of drug initiation, there was an increase in rates of:

- sepsis
- venous thromboembolism
- fracture

Risk over the subsequent 31–90 days.

The increased risk persisted at prednisone equivalent doses of less than 20 mg/day.

References:

Short Term Use of Oral Corticosteroids and Related Harms http://buff.ly/2pI5qDY

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