Steroid and Covid-19

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Covid-19 has scared everyone to the teeth. Just seeing a positive report sends a signal to our brain that it can lead to anything. Hence we start running amok and try to secure ourselves from a non-existing danger. Since all of us do have people around who probably have moderate or severe symptoms, we grasp their medical prescription and start our treatment. Medical prescriptions are also being forwarded on WhatsApp.

Why is a Steroid used?

Our body has a systematic immune response. Inflammation is one of the responses. Once we get infected by Covid-19, the inflammation caused in our respiratory tract tries to stop the replication of the virus in the upper and middle respiratory tract. This is our body’s immune response. Steroids are generally used to treat inflammation. Hence an early use of Steroids may force our immune system out of the tract and reduce inflammation. This is required only in severe or complicated cases. Wrong or early use actually puts us in more danger.

Use of Steroid in comorbid cases

A comorbid condition such as diabetes, a recent bout with any other disease may be cancer or any other serious medical condition forces our doctors to measure the gain vs loss condition. Due to medical issues, our immune system is already compromised. The use of steroids may further aggravate the situation. However, if Covid-19 has already reached deep inside now steroid will be more beneficial than the danger it may cause, so the doctor will advise one. We have seen cases of black fungus (mucormycosis: in the recent past. It has been established that the cause is the rampant overuse of steroids.

How to decide if medical advice is not available

It is important to adhere to the advice given by ICMR( ). A steroid is not a vitamin dose that can be taken without medical supervision. In every individual the response to steroids is different. Besides, the severity and response will decide how much and for how long this course of treatment is required. In any case, steroid therapy is not recommended to be taken beyond 5 to 10 days. It is most important to understand that if someone tries to take it on Day 1 before oxygen saturation falls in the blood (SpO2) or for precautionary purposes, there are chances that it will harm tremendously and may lead to severe conditions. Hence it is not recommended to be taken without medical advice and proper supervision.

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