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Does methylprednisolone help with COVID?

Medically reviewed by Carmen Pope, BPharm. Last updated on Nov 10, 2022.

Official answer


Methylprednisolone can help with COVID according to a 2022 systematic review of 33 studies that reported the use of methylprednisolone was associated with:

  • Fewer deaths in the short-term (relative risk [RR] 0.73 which means patients given methylprednisolone were 0.73 times less likely to die within 28 days than those not given methylprednisolone)
  • A decrease in the likelihood of being admitted to ICU (RR 0.77)
  • A decrease in the need for mechanical ventilation (RR 0.69)
  • More ventilator-free days within 28 days (mean difference [MD] 2.81)
  • No significant increase in the risk of secondary infections (RR 1.04).

Use of higher dose methylprednisolone was associated with a possible prolongation in the duration of viral shedding, but this was not seen with lower dose methylprednisolone (≤ 2 mg/kg/day for ≤7 days).


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