Even brief courses of steroids raise GI bleeding risk

Short bursts of oral corticosteroids are 'not as risk free' as previously thought, says researcher

A short course of corticosteroids is associated with a 1.8- to 2.4-fold increased risk for gastrointestinal bleeding, sepsis and heart failure within the first month after initiation, according to a large study from Taiwan.

Researcher Dr Tsung-Chieh Yao from Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taoyuan, says oral steroid bursts are "not as risk-free as many clinicians thought previously".

"Physicians who consider prescribing steroid bursts to their patients should weigh