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Which Prednisone Patients Get COVID Hospitalization?

Which Prednisone Patients Get COVID Hospitalization?

Which drugs might increase your risk for hospitalization from COVID infection?

If you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a joint problem where your immune system is attacking your joints, which of the drugs for RA might affect your COVID survivability?

Find out the latest research on prednisone and COVID hospitalizations.

–What effect does prednisone have on your COVID outcomes?
–What if you have RA and need to take prednisone and other meds?
–Do other medications worsen your COVID odds?

I found an article published in the British Medical Journal–that’s one of the highest quality publications of scientific literature out there. They tested which drugs taken by people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA or rheumatoid disease) affected their survivability when having a diagnosis of COVID.

Why Does Dose Matter?

Prednisone Doses

So, they looked at thousands of patients who had COVID and whether or not they had rheumatoid arthritis, and if they have it they looked at which drugs they were taking. They compared TNF-alpha inhibitors. They looked at DMARDs. Finally they compared other drugs like prednisone.

The researchers were trying to see if any specific drug increases the probability of COVID hospitalization. They ran comparisons to see if they take this drug or that drug, does it decrease their COVID survivability, or maybe the worst outcome: hospitalization, or dying.

Finally, when the scientists tested with prednisone, they found that there was a correlation between taking prednisone and hospitalization. Once they found that, they wondered what prednisone dose matters? Or whether or not the dose matters at all? And if so, what dose makes the difference?

They looked into different doses and they found that prednisone doses below 10 mg really didn’t change the risk compared to other people who have rheumatoid arthritis. But for people taking above 10 mg that was when there is an increase in hospitalization.

Above 10 mg of prednisone increased the risk for hospitalization from COVID.

Immunosuppression Causing Hospitalization?

This was a big question because a lot of the drugs you take when you have rheumatoid arthritis are immunosuppressants. These drugs turn off your immune system because the whole goal is your immune system is attacking the joints causing you swelling and pain, inflammation, inability to open jars or get out of bed, walk or all those really important things.

Theoretically, all immunosuppressants should worsen your odds, but the other drugs didn’t. Only prednisone over 10 mg did.

Why Prednisone May Increase the Risk for COVID Hospitalization

Prednisone below 10 mg is closer to your body’s hormone for stress, called cortisol. And at those lower doses, it is actually really similar to your natural release of cortisol from your brain and your adrenal cortex system; the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal system.

HPA axis, Prednisone

And if that system is working without you taking prednisone and you were just releasing cortisol on your own then it will be somewhere between 2.5 mg and 7.5 mg–something around about that is what your body naturally releases of cortisol.

So, when you go below 10 mg that means that you are in pretty much normal range of the stress hormone. If you’re above 10 mg where your body thinks prednisone is a real cortisol stress hormone. That means that you’re experiencing severe stress.

If you’re under terrible stress your body will be releasing that much cortisol on its own. Taking a higher dose will treat your condition but your body won’t release that much on its own.

Odds Ratio of Prednisone Dose and COVID Hospitalizations

While on prednisone, your body is “taking from Peter to pay Paul.” When you take prednisone you’re taking from your ability to thrive in these ways:

  • muscle mass is being depleted
  • bone mass is being depleted (one of the irreversible side effects)
  • immune system is obviously being turned off. That’s why you’re taking it. Right?

All of those things are being depleted to serve that wonderful goal of surviving and feeling well while you rheumatoid arthritis.

But it’s coming at a cost. This is precisely what they said in the article:

“The prednisone dose that is greater than or equal to 10 mg a day was associated with higher odds of hospitalization.”

They shared some statistics that state that the odds ratio is 2.05 with a 95% confidence interval of 1.06 to 3.96.


The Odd Ratio of Risk vs Benefits on prednisone

So, an odds ratio means essentially you have a 2x greater risk of being hospitalized with COVID than another person who has rheumatoid arthritis who is not taking that high of a dose of prednisone. Essentially, it is 2x greater risk because you have a high dose of prednisone.

Yikes! I’m sorry. But is the benefit outweighing the risk? Your chances of being hospitalized with COVID are pretty small. The real risks–lots of people actually have it. Whereas is the benefit of prednisone greater than the risk of hospitalization?

That’s the only question where you and your doctor can decide. I’m not gonna tell you right now to go off on prednisone because that’s not right. You have to work with your doctor and never go cold turkey on prednisone ever. It can be life-threatening!

Now You Know Benefits & Risks of Prednisone

This is one thing you need to know–as far as knowing the benefits of risks. Now you know more information about those risks. You know the benefits for you. You know how well it is helping you cope with rheumatoid arthritis. So now you know the benefits and the risk.

Nutranize Zone

Nutranize Zone for Prednisone

That’s one of the reasons why I created Nutranize® Zone™. It’s the first and only supplement for people on prednisone. I designed it to increase the benefits to risk ratio.

If you’re taking prednisone and it has given you the wonderful benefit of functioning, but it is causing risks which I’ve mentioned several already.

This helps decrease those risks to put the favor in the balance of the Benefits side because this contains the 10 nutrients that prednisone depletes:

  • calcium and vitamin D (which help you to maintain strong bones)
  • melatonin (which helps you get restful sleep
  • chromium picolinate, which that helps you to have balanced sugars
  • …and a lot more.
balance in prednisone with nutranize

This was designed with the highest quality ingredients to give back the nutrients that prednisone is stealing. I want you to have the best possible benefit to risk ratio for you. That’s why I created this to help you feel better, to feel like yourself again while you’re taking prednisone!

You can find it at nutranize.com. You can remember Nutranize because it’s like neutralizing thru nutrition.

Just visit my website to get these Nutranize Zone and feel better now!

Read more about Prednisone and Coronavirus:

Dr. Megan Milne, PharmD, BCACP

Dr. Megan Milne, PharmD, BCACP, is an award-winning clinical pharmacist board certified in the types of conditions people take prednisone for. Dr. Megan had to take prednisone herself for an autoimmune condition so understands what it feels like to suffer prednisone side effects and made it her mission to counteract them as the Prednisone Pharmacist.

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