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Does the use of short courses of corticosteroids do any harm?

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Paediatricians prescribe short courses of steroids regularly and often the parents will ask if it causes any harm. We then have detailed discussions about long term steroids and the fact that short term courses are unlikely to be of any concern. Yao TC et al (JAMA Pediatr 2021;175:723–29) have asked exactly that: are there potential harms associated with oral corticosteroid bursts (defined as the use of oral corticosteroids for 14 or fewer days) in children? They have quantified the associations of short corticosteroid courses with severe adverse events, including gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding, sepsis, pneumonia, and glaucoma, in children. They have examined …

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