Glucocorticoids for the treatment of anaphylaxis

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Apr 18;2012(4):CD007596. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD007596.pub3.


Background: Anaphylaxis is a serious hypersensitivity reaction that is rapid in onset and may result in death. Anaphylaxis guidelines recommend glucocorticoids for the treatment of people experiencing anaphylaxis.

Objectives: We sought to assess the benefits and harms of glucocorticoid treatment during episodes of anaphylaxis.

Search methods: In our previous version we searched the literature until September 2009. In this version we searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2011, Issue 3), MEDLINE (Ovid) (1956 to September 2011), EMBASE (Ovid) (1982 to September 2011), CINAHL (EBSCOhost) (to September 2011). We also searched the UK National Research Register and websites listing ongoing trials, and contacted international experts in anaphylaxis in an attempt to locate unpublished material.

Selection criteria: We planned to include randomized and quasi-randomized controlled trials comparing glucocorticoids with any control (either placebo, adrenaline (epinephrine), an antihistamine, or any combination of these).

Data collection and analysis: Two authors independently assessed articles for inclusion.

Main results: We found no studies that satisfied the inclusion criteria.

Authors' conclusions: We are, based on this review, unable to make any recommendations for the use of glucocorticoids in the treatment of anaphylaxis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anaphylaxis / drug therapy*
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use*
  • Humans


  • Glucocorticoids