Statement on the Use of Dexamethasone for Severely ill COVID-19 Patients

Statement on the Use of Dexamethasone for Severely ill COVID-19 Patients

This means you should avoid any live vaccine until at least 3 months after your course of corticosteroids has finished. However, they should be avoided or used with caution if you have an ongoing infection or a blood clotting disorder (like haemophilia). Dexamthasone is indicated in the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in adult and adolescent patients (aged 12 years and older with body weight at least 40 kg) who require supplemental oxygen therapy.

  • Take your steroids exactly as your health professional has told you.
  • If you have a “live” vaccine, like the shingles vaccine, while you are taking dexamethasone your immune system might not be able to handle it.
  • Rifampicin, rifabutin, carbamazepine, phenobartital, phenytoin, primidone, and aminoglutethimide enhance the metabolism of corticosteroids and its therapeutic effects may be reduced.
  • The severity of the inflammation determines the choice of steroid.
  • Corticosteroids, often known as steroids, are an anti-inflammatory medicine.

If you need medical treatment for any reason other than cancer, always tell the doctors and nurses you are having cancer treatment. Give them the contact details for your cancer doctor so they can ask for advice. The side effects may be reduced by lowering the dose of steroids. Sometimes, when taken in higher doses, steroids can cause confusion or changes in thinking.

I’m worried about my child taking steroids

It’s available on prescription only and comes as tablets, soluble tablets and as a liquid you drink. It can be given by injection but this is usually only done in hospital. To help us improve GOV.UK, we’d like to know more about your visit today. Don’t worry we won’t send you spam or share your email address with anyone.

If you have diabetes, dexamethasone can affect blood sugar control. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes treatment while you take this medicine and again after you stop. Serious side effects are more likely with higher doses (more than 6mg a day) or if you take dexamethasone for more than a few weeks or months.


Your immune system produces extra fluid to fight infections or bacteria, which causes swelling, redness and heat in the affected area. You might have noticed this if you have had a cut or wound on your skin. Whether you develop them depends on factors including the dose and how long you take them for.

Having this problem can affect your body’s ability to cope with stress. This might be from an infection, surgery or injury for example. Knowing this allows the healthcare team to give you prompt medical treatment.

Review of topical steroid withdrawal reactions

If you think you need dental treatment, talk to your cancer doctor or nurse. This gives your body a chance to adjust and get used to making its own steroids again. If you are at risk of bone thinning, your doctor may prescribe drugs called bisphosphonates to protect your bones. They will also usually give you advice about taking vitamin D supplements and your diet.

Your weight should gradually return to normal once you stop taking steroids. Taking steroids for longer than a few weeks can affect your ability to fight infection (immunity). The purpose of a steroid emergency card is to help support the early recognition of adrenal crisis.

They check your levels of blood cells and other substances in the blood. Your healthcare team may give you a small card to carry with you while you are taking steroids. This is so that anyone else treating you, such as your dentist or in an emergency, knows that you are on steroids.

Changes in blood sugar levels

But if your asthma is poorly controlled and you need to take steroid tablets, you may be more at risk of severe disease from COVID-19. The steroids in asthma medicines lower your risk of having an asthma attack. They do online anabolic steroids shop this by treating inflammation in your airways (this is when your airways are swollen and narrow). Find out how steroids are used to treat asthma, the benefits, risks, side effects and how to stop taking steroids safely.