Cortisone is said to help against pneumonia
According to a new study, pneumonia heals faster when antibiotics are supplemented with cortisone during therapy. This combination could lead to enormous cost savings. But cortisone is controversial because of its side effects.
Pneumonia heals faster thanks to cortisone According to a long-term study at seven Swiss hospitals, pneumonia heals faster if cortisone (also cortisone) is added to the usual antibiotic therapy. The results of the investigation were published on Monday in The Lancet. Thanks to this combination therapy, savings of up to CHF 20 million (almost EUR 20 million) could be achieved in Switzerland alone, as the Swiss Internet portal "20M Minuten.ch" writes. The study was initiated by the University Hospital Basel (USB). A total of more than 800 patients from seven clinics were included between 2009 and 2014.
Patients recover faster According to the USB, the idea of using cortisone against pneumonia was not new, but clear data were lacking so far. Now Mirjam Christ-Crain has provided the hoped-for evidence with her research network. It is said that her study will "change the treatment of pneumonia worldwide." According to the USB, patients with cortisone recover on average one and a half days faster and could therefore be discharged from the hospital after six instead of seven days. In addition, thanks to cortisone, the usual duration of intravenous antibiotic administration can be reduced by one day to four days.
Combination of antibiotics and cortisone All patients included in the study received antibiotics. Half of the subjects received cortisone, the other participants received a placebo. In the comparison of the two groups, the better effect was clearly shown when the medication was combined. According to the USB, another positive effect was a smaller risk of the disease getting worse. In addition, no relevant side effects occurred in the study because the treatment with cortisone was limited to seven days.
Drug controversial because of side effects Because of the side effects of cortisone, the drug is very controversial. The researchers were also able to determine this. "Many did not want to participate because cortisone has a bad image," said Christ-Cain, according to the "Basellandschaftliche Zeitung". However, as the scientist explained, short-term use usually results in few undesirable effects. For example, some of the patients would only have temporarily increased blood sugar levels. Long-term therapy with cortisone is suspected, among other things, to favor high blood pressure and cause edema. There is also a risk of inflammation of the stomach or stomach ulcer.
Pneumonia is often not correctly diagnosed. Around 680,000 people in Germany develop pneumonia every year. An estimated 35,000 patients die of it every year. According to experts, the infectious disease is often not correctly diagnosed or treated incorrectly. Especially in older patients, the question arises: "How do I recognize pneumonia?" often difficult. While symptoms with fever, chills and breathing difficulties are usually clear in younger people, seniors often lack individual symptoms. In addition, due to the general frailty, signs are sometimes not correctly interpreted in the elderly. (ad)
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