The use of corticosteroids for COVID-19 infection

Afr J Thorac Crit Care Med. 2020 Sep 16;26(3):10.7196/AJTCCM.2020.v26i3.106. doi: 10.7196/AJTCCM.2020.v26i3.106. eCollection 2020.


The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is continuing relentlessly in many parts of the world and has resulted in the outpouring of literature on various aspects of the infection, including studies and recommendations regarding the optimal treatment of infected patients. Not surprisingly, the use of corticosteroids in the management of such patients has featured prominently in many of these publications. There is considerable debate in the literature as to the likely benefits, as well as the potential detrimental effects of corticosteroid therapy in general viral respiratory infections and, in particular, COVID-19 infections. While the definitive answer may need to await the results of ongoing randomised, controlled trials recent studies suggest that corticosteroid use in COVID-19 cases with hypoxaemia may benefit from low-dose corticosteroid therapy.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; coronavirus; corticosteroids; therapy.

Publication types

  • Review