Could Steroids Be the Solution to Bronchitis? Learn More Here

October 22, 2023by maciemedical

Could Steroids Be the Solution to Bronchitis? Learn More Here

Acute bronchitis is temporary inflammation of the airways that causes a cough and mucus. Bronchitis can be described as being either acute bronchitis or chronic bronchitis. Get advice on your medicines, symptoms or travelling with a lung condition, or just call us to say hello.

  • Steroids are also useful for people with COPD who get regular flare-ups.
  • Most reactions recover after either dose reduction or withdrawal, although specific treatment may be necessary.
  • A cough is the most predominant symptom of bronchitis.21 Practitioners must conduct thorough investigations to ensure correct and accurate diagnoses; a cough is commonly confused with other respiratory disorders.
  • This includes, but is certainly not limited to, persistent cough, asthma, chronic bronchitis, lung cancer, bronchoscopy and endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS).
  • Any problems like a sore mouth, for example, can be prevented by using a spacer with your inhaler, if that’s possible.

This lets healthcare professionals know you’re taking steroids. It’s really important that you don’t stop taking your steroids in an inhaler or tablets suddenly if you’ve been taking them for more than a few weeks. Steroids in an inhaler or as tablets are an important and effective treatment for inflammation in the lungs and can make a massive difference to how you deal with your condition. In summary, bronchitis is a lower respiratory tract viral infection that causes inflammation, phlegmy cough and difficulty breathing. It has been suggested that steroids may be effective in treating bronchitis. However, the evidence is conflicting, and insufficient in scale, and the current conclusions have coupled the use of steroids with other medications.

What is this Respiratory Medicine Guide about?

Tablets are the preferred formulation as absorption is much better. AmBisome® and water for injections as a diluent require prescribing and dispensing by hospital. Any patient on azole antifungals should have any isolates of Aspergillus checked for sensitivity.

Patients should be given a steroid card and be advised not to stop the course of steroids suddenly. First Line All patients should be asked about occupational and environmental exposure to aspergillus and be given appropriate advice to reduce risk factors (see background). Patients/parents should be given the ABPA patient information leaflet.


Hypoadrenalism may, in theory, occur in the neonate following prenatal exposure to corticosteroids but usually resolves spontaneously following birth and is rarely clinically important. Cataracts have been observed in infants born to mothers treated with long-term prednisolone during pregnancy. As with all drugs, corticosteroids should only be prescribed when the benefits to the mother and child outweigh the risks. When corticosteroids are essential however, patients with normal pregnancies may be treated as though they were in the non-gravid state. In patients who have received more than physiological dose for systemic corticosteroids (approximately 7.5mg prednisolone or equivalent) for greater than 3 weeks, withdrawal should not be abrupt.

  • The review also found that dexamethasone is more effective than budesonide at reducing croup symptoms at 6 and 12 hours – and lessens the need for adrenaline.
  • Bronchitis is inflammation of the airways in the lungs that is usually caused by an infection.
  • Novel therapies, such as biologics, are designed to work by blocking or inhibiting specific chemical mediators or cytokines such as Interleukins (IL) in the immune system from mounting an allergic response and causing inflammation.
  • The side effects of bronchodilators can vary depending on the specific medication you’re taking.
  • Bronchitis can be described as being either acute bronchitis or chronic bronchitis.
  • Corticosteroids reduce symptoms of croup in children within two hours and continue to do so for at least 24 hours.

Using a reliever inhaler often can cause a fine tremor (shaking), that you might notice in your hands. This may be a sign that preventer treatment needs to be changed or restarted. Absorption of the capsules is significantly improved by acidic conditions, and should be taken immediately after a meal.

Treating bronchitis

Acute bronchitis can affect people of all ages, but is most common in younger children under the age of five. It is more common in winter, and often develops following a cold, sore throat or flu. These side effects often improve and disappear completely after you’ve been using beta-2 agonists for a few days or weeks. Contact your GP if your side effects persist, as your dose may need to be adjusted. However, some may be nebulised to treat sudden and severe symptoms. Bronchodilators are a type of medication that make breathing easier.

This guide was developed to help you make informed decisions about your respiratory medicines. It provides information on medicines used in asthma, COPD, bronchiectasis and IPF. This guide is a shortened version of the Quality Respiratory Prescribing Guide produced by Scottish Government in conjunction with Experts by Experience and experts across NHS Scotland.

• If you take less than 5mg of prednisolone in total as your regular daily dose, go up to 10mg daily as a minimum prednisolone dose during stress and illness.• This can be done by doubling your usual two or three daily doses. Minor ailments can affect anyone with a steroid-dependent adrenal condition very differently. Things like vomiting, diarrhoea, colds and flu could cause an adrenal crisis. It’s important that you spot the early symptoms of a bug or cold and adjust your steroid replacement medication. Significant differences in the pharmacokinetics of prednisolone amongst menopausal women have been described.

Close clinical supervision is required to avoid life threatening reactions. In addition, acute adrenal insufficiency leading to a fatal outcome may occur if glucocorticoids are withdrawn abruptly. Drug-induced secondary adrenocortical insufficiency may therefore be minimized by gradual reduction of dosage. This type of relative insufficiency may persist for months after discontinuation of therapy; therefore, in any situation of stress occurring during that period, hormone therapy should be reinstituted. Since mineralocorticoid secretion may be impaired, salt and/or a mineralocorticoid should be administered concurrently.

Steroid tablets

It also aims to help you prepare for a respiratory review, and where relevant, provides information on how to identify the right inhaler for your needs. This guide is for people with asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), bronchiectasis and Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). Family members, friends and carers of individuals with respiratory conditions may also find this guide helpful.