WEDNESDAY, March 9, 2022 (HealthDay News) — For people hospitalized with COVID-19, continued dexamethasone treatment on discharge is not associated with a reduction in 14-day all-cause readmissions or mortality , according to a study published online in March 8 in Open JAMA Network.
Cheng-Wei Huang, MD, of Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, and colleagues examined whether continuing dexamethasone treatment upon discharge was associated with reduced readmissions or all-cause mortality in 1,164 adults ( median age, 55 years) who received less than 10 days of dexamethasone to discharge while hospitalized for COVID-19.
Researchers found that 59.5% of patients continued to take dexamethasone upon discharge. The propensity score and the inverse probability of treatment weights were used to create a balanced cohort. The adjusted odds ratio was 0.87 (95% confidence interval, 0.58 to 1.30) for readmissions or 14-day mortality for patients who did or did not continue dexamethasone therapy at the exit. In a sensitivity analysis that restricted the treatment group to those who received exactly 10 days of dexamethasone, similar results were obtained. Results were also similar in subgroup analyzes stratified by duration of dexamethasone treatment as an inpatient, oxygen requirements at discharge, and duration of illness at discharge.
“Our results suggest that dexamethasone, short of other indications, should not be routinely prescribed beyond discharge for treatment in patients with COVID-19,” the authors write.