Rapid Rx Quiz: Corticosteroids

Mary L. Windle, PharmD


July 14, 2022

A recent study found that corticosteroids may raise the risk for painful VOEs in patients with SCD, with women, older adults, and patients not taking hydroxyurea at highest risk. The study analyzed 5151 patients with SCD using corticosteroids who had at least one hospital admission for a VOE. Patients using a corticosteroid in the month before the event were more likely to be hospitalized for VOE (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 3.8). Those taking hydroxyurea had less risk for VOE hospitalization than those not taking the medication (aOR, 2.6 vs. 4). Risk was also lower among men compared with women (aOR, 2.1 vs. 6.5) and children compared with adults (aOR, 2.8 vs. 4.5). Current guidelines from the American Society of Hematology advise against use of corticosteroids for acute pain management in patients with SCD.

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