Rescue packs of antibiotics and corticosteroids to be prescribed for patients with asthma and COPD during the COVID-19 pandemic Advice for primary care

Rescue packs of antibiotics and corticosteroids to be prescribed for patients with asthma and COPD during the COVID-19 pandemic Advice for primary care

If your child does have chicken pox, their steroid doses may need to be stopped. Our adrenal and reproductive glands naturally produce hormonal substances called steroids. There are many types of steroids and all have different effects on the body. “Most people on a short course of steroid tablets can safely stop at the end of their course, as long as they’ve recovered well,” says DrAndy Whittamore.

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. The information on this page is about steroids used in cancer treatment. Most people with asthma who use a preventer inhaler are not at any increased risk from COVID-19.

Steroid tablets

They stop symptoms from getting worse and lower your risk of having another asthma attack. It sits within Bristol Medical School, an internationally recognised centre of excellence for population health research and teaching. If you need to take both medications, you may be given a medication called a proton pump inhibitor (PPI).

  • There is a balance between the risk of side-effects against the symptoms and damage that may result if not treated.
  • This is because when you’re on high doses of steroids your body may stop producing enough of its own natural steroids to help illness or injury.
  • There’s generally no reason why someone shouldn’t be able to use a steroid inhaler or steroid spray.
  • If you’ve been taking corticosteroids for a while, you may also need tests before you stop taking them.
  • Make sure any change to your dose of steroid is updated on the card.
  • Dexamethasone and prednisolone work quickly, usually within a few days, but full benefits can take months in some cases.

Tell your doctor straight away if you have sudden and severe pain in your tummy (abdomen). Blood clots can develop in the deep veins of your body, usually the leg. A blood clot can be very serious if it travels to your lungs (pulmonary embolism), although this isn’t common.


If growth is slowed, they might be referred to a specialist doctor for advice. If you’re taking high doses of steroids, or if you’re on them for more than three weeks, you’ll need to carry a steroid card. This will have information on your dose and how long you’ve been taking them for. See your doctor or the person treating you straight away if you develop chickenpox, shingles or measles, or if you come into contact with someone who has any of these illnesses.

Your reliever inhaler (usually blue) opens up your airways when you’re having symptoms or an asthma attack. It does not contain steroids, so it cannot reduce inflammation in your airways. Anticoagulant medicines are medications that make the blood less sticky.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

This is a symptom of a condition called Cushing’s syndrome, linked to taking high doses of steroids. The review incorporated the views of patients, healthcare professionals, and academics presented at a public hearing in June 2018. Many corticosteroids are used in the treatment of sepsis, an often-fatal condition caused by the immune system over-responding to an infection.

Carrying a steroid card

In other words, sticky antibiotic settling all over your furniture or even worse your nearest and dearest breathing in your excess medication. Please read this information sheet from GOSH alongside the patient information leaflet (PIL) provided by the manufacturer. If you do not have a copy of the manufacturer’s patient information leaflet please talk to your pharmacist. A few products do not have a marketing authorisation (licence) as a medicine and therefore there is no PIL.


Where a diagnosis of Ramsay Hunt syndrome is suspected, as well as antiviral drugs, steroids can be prescribed. The effectiveness of the use of steroids for treatment of Ramsay Hunt syndrome is not proven but unlikely to do harm and can potentially help with pain and recovery. Pneumonia is usually treated with antibiotics and supplemental oxygen if the illness is severe. Vaccines are available against the most common infectious cause, Streptococcus pneumoniae, also flu vaccine helps by protecting against one of the predisposing conditions.

Abul Roap took his seven-year-old daughter Hanna to the family GP after she woke up coughing at midnight. She was prescribed steroids and sent home, where she died less than 12 hours later. You might have liver changes that are usually mild and unlikely to cause symptoms. You have regular blood tests to check for any changes in the way your liver is working.