According to a new study, patients with lung disease suffered more complications if they tried doing without inhaled steroids. Researchers in Texas studied a group of 200 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). All received a high dose of inhaled steroids, to manage their condition, for a period of four months. After this time, they either continued the steroids or received a placebo inhaler for the next five months.
During this time, 40 per cent of those in the steroid group experienced an exacerbation of their condition, compared to 50 per cent in the placebo group. In fact, 20 of the patients in the placebo group worsened to the extent of having to be placed back on steroids. Evidently inhaled steroids are a key tool in the long-term management of COPD.