COVID-19 advice for people taking steroids

Steroids are an important treatment for people with conditions such as arthritis, vasculitis and joint pain. They’re usually taken as tablets or injections into muscles, joints or soft tissues.

There’s some concern that steroids might affect people who have COVID-19 and make it harder for your body to clear the virus.

New guidance about steroids and COVID-19 advises:

  • People who are already taking steroid tablets should carry on taking them.
  • If you’re not currently taking steroids, your doctor should only start steroid tablets or give you a steroid injection if there are no other options for your condition.
  • Your doctor should give you the lowest possible dose of steroids for the shortest possible time.
  • You shouldn’t be given steroid treatment if you have an infection, or if there is a possibility you may have COVID-19, even if you don’t have symptoms at the time. Your doctor will discuss this with you.

It can be dangerous to suddenly stop taking steroids, as they can cause withdrawal symptoms. If you’re taking steroids and you’re concerned about COVID-19, you shouldn’t stop taking your prescribed dose without speaking to your doctor first