Systemic corticosteroids in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19)‐related smell dysfunction: an international view

Caroline Huart, Carl M. Philpott, Aytug Altundag, Alexander W. Fjaelstad, Johannes Frasnelli, Simon Gane, Julien W. Hsieh, Eric H. Holbrook, Iordanis Konstantinidis, Basile N. Landis, Alberto Macchi, Christian A. Müller, Simona Negoias, Jayant M. Pinto, Sophia C. Poletti, Vijay R. Ramakrishnan, Philippe Rombaux, Jan Vodicka, Antje Welge-Luessen, Katherine L. WhitcroftThomas Hummel

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The frequent association between coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) and olfactory dysfunction is creating an unprecedented demand for a treatment of the olfactory loss. Systemic corticosteroids have been considered as a therapeutic option. However, based on current literature, we call for caution using these treatments in early COVID‐19–related olfactory dysfunction because: (1) evidence supporting their usefulness is weak; (2) the rate of spontaneous recovery of COVID‐19–related olfactory dysfunction is high; and (3) corticosteroids have well‐known potential adverse effects. We encourage randomized placebo‐controlled trials investigating the efficacy of systemic steroids in this indication and strongly emphasize to initially consider smell training, which is supported by a robust evidence base and has no known side effects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1041-1046
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Forum of Allergy & Rhinology
Issue number7
Early online date16 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

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