Purpose: Glucocorticoids (GCs), alone or associated to other drugs, were widely used in the management of patients affected by severe acute respiratory syndrome caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection, during the recent COVID-19 outbreak. This review summarizes the available data on HPA axis impairment in GC-treated SARS-CoV-2 patients, focusing on the risk of adrenal insufficiency and on potential drug interactions during concomitant treatments. Methods: Literature on the impact of GCs therapy on HPA axis and on the consequences of coadministration of GCs and other drugs in SARS-CoV-2 patients has been reviewed. Results: GC treatment can cause symptoms of hypercortisolism, especially in patients with individual hypersensibility, or hypoadrenalism after drug withdrawal, due to hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis suppression, with consequences in terms of increased morbidity and mortality risk. On the other hand, in SARS-CoV-2-infected patient’s cortisol secretion could be insufficient also due to critical illness-related corticosteroid insufficiency (CIRCI). In addition, in this clinical context, the co-administration of antiretroviral drugs and corticosteroids may trigger drug–drug interaction and enhance the exposure to the latter ones, metabolized through the CYP450 CYP3A pathway, severely impacting on HPA axis. Conclusion: Physicians involved in the management of patients affected by COVID-19 should be aware of the need of an appropriate GC dose tapering, and of potential interaction of GCs with antiviral therapy and drugs used to treat associated co-morbidities.

What we have to know about corticosteroids use during Sars-Cov-2 infection

Ferrau F.
Co-primo
;
Cannavo S.;
2020-01-01

Abstract

Purpose: Glucocorticoids (GCs), alone or associated to other drugs, were widely used in the management of patients affected by severe acute respiratory syndrome caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection, during the recent COVID-19 outbreak. This review summarizes the available data on HPA axis impairment in GC-treated SARS-CoV-2 patients, focusing on the risk of adrenal insufficiency and on potential drug interactions during concomitant treatments. Methods: Literature on the impact of GCs therapy on HPA axis and on the consequences of coadministration of GCs and other drugs in SARS-CoV-2 patients has been reviewed. Results: GC treatment can cause symptoms of hypercortisolism, especially in patients with individual hypersensibility, or hypoadrenalism after drug withdrawal, due to hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis suppression, with consequences in terms of increased morbidity and mortality risk. On the other hand, in SARS-CoV-2-infected patient’s cortisol secretion could be insufficient also due to critical illness-related corticosteroid insufficiency (CIRCI). In addition, in this clinical context, the co-administration of antiretroviral drugs and corticosteroids may trigger drug–drug interaction and enhance the exposure to the latter ones, metabolized through the CYP450 CYP3A pathway, severely impacting on HPA axis. Conclusion: Physicians involved in the management of patients affected by COVID-19 should be aware of the need of an appropriate GC dose tapering, and of potential interaction of GCs with antiviral therapy and drugs used to treat associated co-morbidities.
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