The frequent association between coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and olfactory dysfunction is creating an unprecedented demand for a treatment of the olfactory loss. Systemic corticosteroids have been considered as a therapeutic option. However, based on current literature, we call for caution using these treatments in early COVID-19-related olfactory dysfunction because: (1) evidence supporting their usefulness is weak; (2) the rate of spontaneous recovery of COVID-19-related olfactory dysfunction is high; and (3) corticosteroids have well-known potential adverse effects. We encourage randomized placebo-controlled trials investigating the efficacy of systemic steroids in this indication and strongly emphasize to initially consider smell training, which is supported by a robust evidence base and has no known side effects.
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; corticosteroids; olfaction disorder; smell.
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