Who is taking steroids as a treatment?

I have stage 4 COPD. Every now and then I have a flare up which requires prednisone. I breathe so much better after taking prednisone. I have asked my pulmonary doctor if I could be on a low dose daily to help with my breathing but he refused because of side effects. Are there others out there who take steroids for COPD?


Community Answers
  • twovillages
    1 year ago

    I have recently been on vacation, and needed to go to an Urgent Care facility twice in the last 5 weeks. The doctor that saw me gave me an injection of prednisone about three weeks ago. He gave me another injection a couple days ago because I’m very SOB again. It seems to be helping, but I really have the jitters. Never heard of the shots before instead of the tablets. I need to remember to have my treating physician give me a prescription before I travel so I can just have it filled.

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi twovillages and thanks for sharing your experiences with Urgent Care while on vacation. Although we cannot provide medical advice or diagnostics over the internet (for your own safety), your post certainly warrants a comment. In my experience, it’s not usual to have a steroid injection as treatment. It may be unique to Urgent Care or the region and practice where you were vacationing. I think it’s a very good idea for you to bring this to the attention of your own private physician for his/her input. Please check back with us and let us know how you’re doing.
    All the best,
    Leon (site moderator)

  • Lyn Harper, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi 14ejrfc –

    It’s amazing isn’t it, despite the down-side of steroids, how much they can do to help when you’re having a flare up of your COPD?!

    While I can’t speak to why your physician feels they way he does, I certainly understand your concerns. I’m assuming you already take an inhaled steroid daily, is that right? Do you think that needs to be adjusted? Whenever I hear that someone isn’t maintaining well, I always ask if they’re on a daily low dose inhaled steriod, and if so, is it enough? Your doctor may be more inclined to adjust that initially and see what kind of results you get.

    Also, I suggest having a very frank conversation with your doctor next time you’re there. Tell him exactly what you feel would help you and ask for detailed reasons if he disagrees. You should feel that you have a voice in your own care.

    Please keep us updated on what happens..

    Lyn (moderator)

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi 14ejrfc and thanks for your post. Many in our community have spoken about steroids and COPD. I’m hopeful some will reply to your inquiry.
    While we cannot provide medical advice over the internet (for your own safety), I did want to comment on your concerns.
    Oral steroids, (like prednisone) can be used to treat severe exacerbations of COPD. You’ll find that dosages can vary based on the severity of the flare-up and the particular doctor’s medical approach. These medications are not without their side effects, especially with long term use. It sounds (to me) like your physician does not feel the risk/benefit of prescribing low dose steroids would be suitable for you. I would suggest you speak about it with your doctor in more detail. I also feel this article might provide you with a little bit more insight into this medication: https://copd.net/treatment/medication-overview/corticosteroids/
    Please check back with us and let us know how you’re doing.
    All the best,
    Leon (site moderator)

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