Corticosteroids for gbs?

April 14, 2011 at 7:15 pm

It would appear that corticosteroids are not indicated for GBS.

Quoted from [url][/url]

“[I]Research on corticosteroid therapy

To find out whether corticosteroids speed up recovery and reduce the effects of GBS, researchers from the Cochrane Collaboration analysed clinical trials of this treatment. The Cochrane Collaboration is an international network of researchers who systematically review trials that test the benefits of health care interventions. They found 8 trials. Only 6 of these trials measured disability in a way that could help answer important questions about the usefulness of corticosteroid therapy for patients. You can click here to read about why it is important to carry out trials in a particular way to find out whether a medical intervention helps. The 6 trials that were included in the analysis involved over 580 people with GBS.

After a year the people who had corticosteroids did not have less disability than people who took a dummy drug (placebo) or had immunoglobulin therapy only. Serious adverse effects from short courses of corticosteroids were not common, although people who had corticosteroids might have been a bit more likely to develop diabetes. There was some evidence that giving corticosteroids into the veins (intravenous therapy) along with immunoglobulin therapy in the early weeks might have a short-term benefit, but more research is needed to be sure.

The researchers found that corticosteroids might actually delay recovery when taken as tablets. More research is needed to be sure about this as well, though. One possible reason could be that, while early intravenous treatment might have some benefit in the acute phase of inflammation, tablets are usually taken over longer periods of time, and perhaps they start to do some unknown kind of harm after a while. It is theoretically possible, for example, that while the corticosteroids have a beneficial effect on the inflammation of the nerves, they could have a different effect on the muscles. The researchers concluded that immunoglobulin therapy can improve symptoms 4 weeks after GBS, but it is not certain that adding corticosteroids to the treatment will help.[/I]”