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Steroid advice and COVID-19

What Does This New Advice Mean In Simple Terms?

It is currently unknown about the specific effects that a steroid injection on your immune system will have in combination with potentially catching the COVID-19 virus.

The concern is that the COVID-19 virus can take up to 14 days for patients to display symptoms and therefore you could have the virus without knowing or showing any symptoms.

Although there is currently no information specific to the effects of steroids in relation to the COVID-19 virus it has been shown that in similar respiratory viruses (Influenza, MERS-CoV and SARS) there is a DELAYED viral clearance. This means that if you were to become infected with COVID-19 your reaction to the virus could be worse or prolonged.

To summarise:

  • The potential impact of corticosteroids on patients who have the virus without knowing is currently unknown.
  • Increased risk of contracting the virus after a corticosteroid injection is unknown.
  • If you are a high-risk patient over the age of 70 and have other co-morbidities we would STRONGLY advise AGAINST using corticosteroids at this present time.
  • You should be fully aware of the potential increased risk of developing a severe reaction to the COVID-19.
  • We would recommend only continuing with a corticosteroid injection if your pain is UNMANAGEABLE and you fully understand the real risk above. We would also strongly suggest ISOLATION of at least 7 days after the injection to minimise the risk of contracting COVID-19.

Should you wish to continue with steroid treatment, we will talk you through the latest advice, give you the opportunity to ask any questions and ask you to sign a statement to say you understand the risks.