Oral, IV steroids offer similar efficacy for COPD

July 9, 2010

Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbations treated with low-dose oral corticosteroids have outcomes similar to those treated with more costly and invasive high-dose intravenous corticosteroid therapy, according to new research.

JAMA. 2010;303:2359-2367. [June 16, 2010]

Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations treated with low-dose oral corticosteroids have outcomes similar to those treated with more costly and invasive high-dose intravenous corticosteroid therapy, according to researchers from Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts. They assembled data on 79,985 patients hospitalized for acute COPD exacerbations at 414 hospitals during 2006 and 2007. In the intravenous group, 1.4 percent died and 10.9 percent experienced treatment failure, while in the oral group, 1.0 percent died and 10.3 percent experienced treatment failure. Furthermore, patients in the oral group had shorter hospital stays and lower costs.