Which medications in the drug class Corticosteroids are used in the treatment of Pharyngitis?

Updated: May 06, 2020
  • Author: John R Acerra, MD; Chief Editor: Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD  more...
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Steroids have been shown to improve clinical symptoms in patients with pharyngitis, particularly in patients with severe or exudative pharyngitis. [49] Steroids are also used in cases of airway obstruction. They have been shown in several studies to reduce clinical symptoms and to shorten the clinical course. [50, 51] They should be used selectively for patients with significant swelling or odynophagia. [35, 51]

Dexamethasone (Decadron)

Decreases inflammation by suppressing migration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and reducing capillary permeability. For pharyngitis, steroids must be administered in conjunction with antibiotics. Provides symptomatic relief for severe pharyngitis. A one-time IM dose is convenient and avoids compliance issues. Betamethasone is an alternative to dexamethasone.

Prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone, Sterapred)

May decrease inflammation by reversing increased capillary permeability and suppressing PMN activity. Inactive and must be metabolized to the active metabolite prednisolone. The conversion may be impaired in patients with liver disease.

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