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Can shorter courses of oral steroids treat acute COPD exacerbations?

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Review of: Walters JA et al. Different durations of corticosteroid therapy for exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2018;3:10.1002/14651858.CD006897.pub4.

Key learning points

  • A shorter course of corticosteroid lasting 3–7 days could be as effective as a longer course for the management of an exacerbation of COPD.

  • There was no difference in the likelihood of recurrence of the existing exacerbation, or a new flare-up, between the two treatment durations.

A course of corticosteroids lasting 3–7 days could be as effective as a 2-week treatment course for managing acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Overview

This update to an earlier Cochrane review included eight randomised controlled trials involving 582 people with severe …

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