Steroids for Covid 19 treatment?

Covid 19 vaccine is a new struggle in 2021. And we have heard a lot of good and bad news about that. And many related to steroids thus if you don’t know ‘Do steroids help in covid 19 treatment?’ then read the article till the end.

Coronavirus originated from Wuhan, China, and infected the whole world in no time. Many people lost their lives because of this dangerous virus. The world is still fighting the disease. Many researchers are researching how to cure this virus. 

Meanwhile, the second wave of Covid has flown by in the world again this year. However, the covid vaccine arrived in the world to treat this disease and got approved by the FDA. but there are many other medications that can help reduce the unpleasant symptoms of Covid 19. Steroids are one of them.

steroids help in covid 19 treatment

 

What are steroids?

Steroids, also called corticosteroids, are man-made medicines that work the same as natural steroids made in our bodies. Corticosteroids are different from Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS). 

They are anti-inflammatory medicines that are used to deal with some health conditions such as asthma, arthritis, skin problems, some types of cancer, etc.

Steroids are available in different forms. Some of them are written below:

  • Tablets
  • Syrups
  • Liquids
  • Inhalers
  • Nasal sprays
  • Injections
  • Cream, lotion or gels

Steroids are mostly available only on prescription but some of them can be bought directly from the pharmacies. 

Naturally, these steroids are built-in human bodies themselves but some people who want to increase their muscle strength beyond the natural limit use the man-made version of steroid medicines.

What steroids do to our body?

Steroids are produced naturally in human bodies. Steroids affect different parts of the body i.e. muscles, bones, livers, hair follicles, kidneys, reproductive and nervous system etc. By taking synthetic steroids it increases the testosterone levels which results in increased muscle mass and strength.

These medicines make your hormones fight stress related to another illness or injury. As they are anti-inflammatory, they reduce any inflammation in the immune system. 

Steroids can be used to deal with many health problems which include:

  • Asthma
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Hay fever
  • Eczema
  • Joint pain or any other pain in body
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Lupus

Side effects 

Like any other medicines, steroids may have some side effects on a person’s body, however, they do not cause any side effects if taken for a short time or at a low dose. 

Some of the unpleasant side effects caused by steroids are as follows:

  • Increased appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Indigestion
  • Feeling anxious
  • Diabetes
  • Bones weakening
  • High blood pressure
  • Glaucoma
  • Mental health problems such as depression or suicidal thoughts
  • Sore mouth
  • Cough
  • Nosebleeds

The side effects would stop eventually once you finish the treatment. 

However, you should not stop taking the medicine without discussing it with your doctor or else it can cause many further disturbing side effects to your body.

Why are doctors recommending steroids for covid 19 treatment?

dexamethasone

Steroids like dexamethasone are being used to treat Covid 19 disease and giving positive results by recovering patients according to the United Kingdom’s national clinical trial recovery which was tested in hospitalized patients with the virus.

According to WHO sources, the treatment with steroids given to Covid patients on ventilators resulted in reduced mortality by one third and for the patients who needed only oxygen, the mortality was cut by one fifth.

In the interim which WHO issued on September 2, 2020, included the guidelines on the use of steroids for the treatment of Covid 19, it made recommendations for using steroids for the disease. 

The organization recommended that corticosteroids such as dexamethasone or hydrocortisone can be given orally to patients who have severe Covid symptoms. 

In the second recommendation, it advised to not use the corticosteroids for the patients who do not have severe Covid 19 to treat it unless the patient is already consuming them for some other medical condition,

Drugs approved for covid 19 treatment

Currently, Remdesivir is the only medicine that is approved and recommended by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of coronavirus disease. 

FDA approved this medication on the basis of results given by this medicine on hospitalized Covid patients’ faster recovery by taking Remdesivir.

However, scientists and doctors are still testing other medications to see their results on the Covid 19 disease. 

Some other clinical trials are also in the process to study their potential to treat coronavirus such as monoclonal antibodies.

Some other drugs which are used to treat the disease are as follows:

  • Dexamethasone
  • Convalescent plasma
  • Bamlanivimab (LY-CoV555)
  • Bamlanivimab and etesevimab
  • Casirivimab and imdevimab (REGN-COV2)

Drugs approved for covid 19 treatment

Some treatments that NIH recommends to not use to treat Covid 19 are as follows:

  • Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine
  • Azithromycin
  • IL-6 inhibitors such as Tocilizumab
  • Kinase inhibitors
  • Interferons
  • Kaletra
  • Ivermectin
Conclusion

Steroids are man-made medicines that work the same as natural steroids made in our bodies. These are anti-inflammatory medicines that increase muscle strength and affect the immune system of the body.

There are many uses of them. For instance, it can be used to treat arthritis, cancer, etc. they come in various forms such as tablets, liquids, syrups, injections, etc.

They usually do not cause any side effects if taken for a short time and at a low dose, but sometimes it may cause side effects in people which can be unpleasant and harmful to the body. However, the side effects may stop eventually once your treatment is complete.

You should not stop these medications without discussing them with your doctor or else you will have to face some other side effects which could be troublesome.

In conclusion, we can say that steroids are effective with the severe symptoms of Covid 19 in patients. 

It can help reduce the symptoms of Coronavirus. It can be given to the patient who has severe symptoms of Covid 19 and not to the one who does not have any critical symptoms of the disease.

Sources:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0014299905013816

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/steroids/

https://medlineplus.gov/steroids.html

https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/coronavirus-disease-covid-19-dexamethasone#:~:text=Dexamethasone%20is%20generally%20safe.,can%20worsen%20diabetes).

https://www.goodrx.com/blog/coronavirus-treatments-on-the-way/

https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/know-your-treatment-options-covid-19

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/009167497590010X