COPD Full form on set of lungs

A collection of disorders known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease have an impact on how well a patient can breathe. In addition to prescribing steroids, doctors typically use bronchodilators to manage the illness. 

Smoking cigarettes or being around irritants like chemicals or pollutants are risk factors for developing COPD. These elements can harm the lungs’ airways and bronchi. Since there is no known cure for COPD, treatments usually focus on enhancing a patient’s quality of life and halting the progression of the illness. 

A doctor may recommend steroid or corticosteroid therapy when bronchodilators are ineffective in controlling the problem. These drugs can lessen airway inflammation, which will ease breathing. In addition to being available as pills, you can inhale steroids. The data support using steroids as a COPD medication, like how they function and potential side effects. 

In what ways do steroids treat COPD? 

Steroids may reduce the number of eosinophils, which are inflammatory substances, in the lungs. Because people with asthma have high numbers of eosinophils in their lungs, which can create issues, doctors frequently recommend steroids for asthma. 

You can suppress inflammatory substances with steroids, reducing wheezing and asthma symptoms. By turning off the “switches” that activate immune system responses, oral steroids also reduce inflammation.

However, since COPD has distinct underlying reasons than asthma, clinicians rarely recommend steroids as a conventional treatment for the illness. Not all COPD-related breathing issues are caused by immune system responses but rather by lung problems from other airborne irritants. 

COPD Scan of human chest

To cure COPD, doctors typically recommend bronchodilators rather than steroids. These are drugs that one inhales and expands or dilates the airways by acting on lung tissue. In theory, bronchodilators should facilitate easier breathing. 

A doctor might advise mixing a bronchodilator with steroid medications if a patient’s COPD worsens or they go through a COPD exacerbation, which is a time when their problems get worse. 

You may also use corticosteroid therapies and inhaled steroids like prednisone. To find out if a patient has eosinophils in their phlegm, a doctor may occasionally perform tests, such as collecting a sample of the patient’s sputum. If they do, steroid medications might work better on them. 

Old man using oxygen supply to breadth

Are they successful? 

Inhaled steroids 

According to 2015 research, utilizing inhaled steroids by people with COPD has “no survival advantage.” The researchers recommended more investigation into identifying those who might profit from inhaled corticosteroids. Testing to see if inhaled steroids may help persons with specific inflammatory chemicals in their lungs is one possibility for additional research. 

Oral steroids 

Using oral steroids has certain advantages for persons with COPD, as per 2014 research. According to the review, those who experience mild to severe COPD exacerbations may benefit from oral steroids because they may increase lung function, lessen breathlessness, and minimize the risk of relapse. 

Young Man using Pocket Inhaler

How long must a person consume oral corticosteroids? 

Doctors may prescribe taking steroids at intervals of 8 weeks. However, studies have suggested that a 14-day course of therapy might produce comparable outcomes. A 2013 investigation examined prednisone’s efficiency. For COPD exacerbations, some individuals used the drug for five days, whereas others used it for 14 days. 

Inhaled Steroid Benefits 

However, inhaled steroids can assist lessen exacerbations and delay the progression of COPD symptoms that are already deteriorating. An inhaled steroid may assist relieve the symptoms of illnesses if you also have asthma. 

Studies reveal that combining a long-acting dilator with inhaled corticosteroids is more effective than using either one or the other alone for persons with mild to severe COPD who also experience exacerbations. Together, they can enhance your lung health, lessen exacerbations, and enhance your general well-being. 

Inhaled steroid use hazards for COPD 

Compared to oral steroids, inhaled steroids have fewer and less harmful side effects. However, there is still cause for caution. You frequently utilize steroids that are breathed. 

The longer you use large doses of inhaled steroids, the greater the likelihood of more severe adverse effects. Additionally, older adults, newborns, and young children are frequently prescribed them by doctors. They may result in improved hunger, brittle or weak bones, illnesses, bruising, and slowed growth in children. 

If the COPD is extensive, long-term inhaled corticosteroid therapy also increases the chance of pneumonia. You can lessen your risk of growing thrush by guzzling water and washing your mouth thoroughly after using the inhaler. Make sure you gargle it out. 

Other treatments for COPD 

Other drugs may assist in lessening flare-ups and regulating discomfort in addition to corticosteroids and bronchodilators. Phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitors are one of them. They ease the airways and lessen inflammation. They are particularly beneficial for those who have bronchitis. 

Doctors may give you antibiotics if you have an infection triggering the COPD symptoms. Acute exacerbations may be controlled with antibiotics, but they are not intended for symptom relief over the long term.  

Oxygen therapy 

A patient’s lungs may occasionally be so severely injured that they cannot transfer oxygen quite well. In this situation, they may need more oxygen, which would then be administered to the lungs via an oxygen tank. 


For some patients with COPD, surgery to repair injured cells or air sacs or a transplant may be a possibility. 


A serious health issue is COPD. However, you can prolong your respiratory health and feel better if you heed the doctor’s advice and make the required lifestyle adjustments. The use of steroids to treat COPD is still debatable. They have not yet been shown in studies to ease COPD symptoms and improve a person’s quality of life. 

They might be beneficial for some, particularly for those whose problems are aggravated by immune-system responses. 

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