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Adding corticosteroids to traditional antimicrobial therapy help patients recover from pneumonia
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August 14, 2009  |  Posted in  Steroids Blog

Adding corticosteroids to traditional antimicrobial therapy help patients recover from pneumoniaAccording to scientists from the UT Southwestern Medical Center, addition of corticosteroids to traditional antimicrobial therapy help patients recover from pneumonia faster than with antibiotics in isolation.

Pneumonia is a lung infection that is primarily characterized by breathing ailments and is spread by sneezing and coughing.

Dr. Robert Hardy, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and the study’s Senior Author said that steroids can prove to be extremely beneficial for restoring health after catching pneumonia.

From News-Medical.Net:

In the current study, mice infected with the M pneumoniae bacterium were treated daily with a placebo, an antibiotic, a steroid, or a combination of the antibiotic and steroid in order to investigate the effect on M pneumoniae-induced airway inflammation. The animals were then evaluated after one, three and six days of therapy.

“It turns out that the group that got both the antibiotic and the steroids did the best,” Dr. Hardy said. “The inflammation in their lungs got significantly better.”

Although antimicrobials remain the primary therapy for M pneumoniae infection, there have been several reports in recent years about physicians adding steroids to the treatment regimen of patients with severe cases, Dr. Hardy said. The problem, he said, is that those were individual case reports.

“They never had a control group, so it was impossible to tell what impact the addition of steroids had on recovery,” he said.

It was remarked by Dr. Hardy that it is still too early to recommend steroids as a form of standard treatment for people with bacterial pneumonia but the findings do support the need for a clinical trial in the near future.

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