Antibiotics & Steroids for Chest Infection

Antibiotics & Steroids for Chest Infection

In these situations, you will only be prescribed oral corticosteroids if the benefits of treatment outweigh any potential risks. They shouldn’t be used if you have an ongoing widespread infection. However, you should continue to take corticosteroids if you develop an infection whilst taking them. This is because when you’re on high doses of steroids your body may stop producing enough of its own natural steroids to help illness or injury. If you’re using a steroid inhaler these medicines act directly on the airways, and generally have very few side effects.

  • Our adrenal and reproductive glands naturally produce hormonal substances called steroids.
  • You only need to see your GP if your symptoms are severe or unusual.
  • You’re less likely to get side effects from taking steroid tablets for less than three weeks.
  • If you are being sick or vomiting and cannot keep medicines down, you must call medical services and make them aware that you are on long term steroid treatment.
  • If any of these side effects gets serious or lasts longer than a few days, or if you notice any side effects not listed in the leaflet, please tell your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Usually inflammation is the body’s natural reaction to infection or bacteria.

Steroids that are injected into a blood vessel (intravenous steroids) may cause more widespread side effects. Steroid injections are often only given at intervals of at least 6 weeks. A maximum of 3 injections into one area is usually recommended. Rinsing your mouth out with water after using your medication can help to prevent oral thrush. Using a device called a spacer with your medication can help to prevent many of the other problems. If you need a steroid card, make sure you always carry it with you.

What does the NHS Knowledge Service make of this study?

Let your healthcare team know if you notice any changes in your emotional or psychological wellbeing. Also let them know if you or any family members have ever had depression or manic depression (bipolar disorder). Your doctor or pharmacist will assess your risk of adrenal insufficiency based on the type and dose of steroids you’re taking, and may recommend that you carry an emergency steroid card (red card). The card is the size of a credit card and fits in your wallet or purse. If a woman needs to take steroid tablets whilst she is breastfeeding, prednisolone is usually recommended. Steroid injections, inhalers and sprays aren’t thought to pose a risk to babies being breastfed.

  • Your dose will probably be reduced gradually as your symptoms improve, or your doctor might suggest a weaker medication.
  • If you stop taking steroids suddenly, this can lead to a potentially life threatening condition called adrenal insufficiency.
  • They are a treatment for many different conditions and diseases.
  • Always tell other doctors, nurses, pharmacists or dentists that you’re having this treatment.
  • We’ll monitor them closely throughout treatment to reduce the chance of these happening.
  • We’ll arrange for a blood test to check your child’s antibodies to chicken pox and your child may need an injection to protect them, but your doctor or nurse will talk through this with you.

These are more likely if you’re on a high dose or if you’re taking steroids for a long time. You will be given the lowest possible dose for the shortest possible time, to reduce the risk of side effects. Your dose will probably be reduced gradually as your symptoms improve, or your doctor might suggest a weaker medication. Importantly, this guidance is specific to children who have a diagnosis of asthma, and not explicitly for treatment of viral-induced wheezing in children who may or may not have asthma. The findings of this study should not impact on guidance for treating asthmatic children as the participants had post-infectious wheeze and most did not have proper “asthma”. In their discussion  the researchers say that the majority of the children in their study did not have “classic atopic asthma phenotype”, which is asthma due to allergies and exposure to environmental allergens.

Access to free travel vaccines is vital to help protect UK residents from preventable diseases

If you’re taking steroid medicines such as prednisolone your adrenal glands may not make as much of some of the hormones your body needs such as cortisol (known as the stress hormone). The HIV medication may increase the level of corticosteroid in your body. There is less chance of this happening with steroid injections or sprays. However, it can occasionally happen if they’re used at high doses and for a long time. It’s sometimes necessary for steroid tablets to be taken for longer periods.

  • There is evidence that steroid drugs may come through into your breast milk.
  • Bronchitis can be described as being either acute bronchitis or chronic bronchitis.
  • Most side effects should improve if you’re able to reduce your dosage or eventually stop taking the medication.
  • Your child’s face may appear rounder than usual, particularly after long-term steroid treatment.

The steroids used to treat asthma and some other lung conditions are known as corticosteroids. These are not the same as the steroids that some athletes use which are called anabolic steroids. Inhaled steroids at high doses can sometimes cause some of the more serious side effects that are more often linked with steroid tablets (see below), but this is rare. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has recommended that over-the-counter cough medicines should not be given to children under the age of 6. Although small amounts of steroids could pass into breast milk, there’s no research that has shown that it’s harmful to your baby, so guidelines say that people can breastfeed while taking steroid tablets.

Side effects of steroid inhalers

You might have noticed this if you have had a cut or wound on your skin. The researchers raise the most important shortcomings of their sampling – that a substantial number of children were eligible for the study, but their parents did not give consent. This left 687 children to receive either oral prednisolone or placebo. We strongly encourage you to continue doing as much exercise as you are able. This will help to keep you fit and helps to reduce the chance of side effects of the steroid treatment like muscle weakness and osteoporosis. Steroid tablets can be used to treat these illnesses to allow the lungs and lymph glands to return to normal.

They’re often prescribed to people with a history of blood clots or an increased risk of developing them. If you have any concerns about the medicines you take for your asthma, COPD, or other lung condition, speak to your doctor, nurse, pharmacist or other healthcare professional and you can also call our helpline. Reducing the inflammation and swelling in your airways using steroids means you’re less likely to get asthma attacks. Steroids are also useful for people with COPD who get regular flare-ups.

Hydrocortisone in Severe Community Acquired Pneumonia

It is best taken with or just after food to help prevent any stomach problems. If you have other children, they should be also be up to date with their immunisations. These side effects tend to occur only after long-term use or with high doses. For queries or advice about  60+ and Senior Citizen SmartPasses (which can be used to get concessionary travel on public transport), contact Smartpass – Translink. For queries or advice about historical, social or cultural records relating to Northern Ireland, use the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) enquiry service. For queries or advice about employment rights, contact the Labour Relations Agency.

A very small amount of prednisolone can cross into your milk and to your baby. This has not been shown to cause any problems for your child at doses of prednisolone up to 40 mg a day. If you are taking doses higher than 40 mg per day, this could suppress your baby’s adrenal glands, though this is very rare. We will usually check your blood pressure each time you come to clinic. We may also you ask you to get your blood pressure checked more regularly at your GP surgery. As mentioned before, some people do buy their own monitors to check their blood pressure at home.

However, these should be used with caution in people with ongoing infections, like tuberculosis (TB). However, they should be avoided or used with caution if you have an ongoing infection or a blood clotting disorder (like haemophilia). Corticosteroids, often known as steroids, are an anti-inflammatory medicine.

Data protection and use of patient information

Your team may also want you to take a daily calcium and vitamin D supplement. They may also want to do a bone scan called a DEXA scan to check how dense your bones are. If you have diabetes already, your team may arrange for you to have this monitored more frequently, or be taught how to check your own sugars at home (if you don’t already do this). You are being asked to have this treatment because you have an illness causing inflammation in your chest, making you unwell. And your symptoms are getting worse, or your child’s condition is deteriorating. If there’s a flu outbreak in your local area and you’re at risk of serious infection, your GP may also prescribe antiviral medication.

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