Subgroup analyses for causative organisms showed that corticosteroids reduced mortality in Streptococcus pneumoniae ( S. pneumoniae ) meningitis ( RR , 95% CI to ), but not in Haemophilus influenzae ( H. influenzae ) or Neisseria meningitidis ( N. meningitidis ) meningitis. Corticosteroids reduced severe hearing loss in children with H. influenzae meningitis ( RR , 95% CI to ) but not in children with meningitis due to non- Haemophilus species.
Steroids killed nine-year-old Lexie McConnell after only five and a half weeks. In August 1993, Lexie was diagnosed as having toxoplasmosis. The consultant put her on 80 mg per day of prednisolone. Immediately, she suffered severe side effects, huge weight gain , terrible pains, holes in her tongue and black stools. After nearly a month, at her parents' pleading, the doctors quickly lowered the dosage to 60 mg, 40 mg, 20 mg. In excruciating pain, Lexie was taken to a hospital, where it was discovered she'd contracted chickenpox. Four days later, she died. A few years later, another eye specialist declared that a simple course of antibiotics could have cleared up her infection. The above excerpt is from Ursula Kelly's site
We identified 20 trials with 12,303 randomised participants. The effect of corticosteroids on the risk of death was reported in 17 included trials. Due to significant heterogeneity we did not calculate a pooled estimate of the risk of death. The largest trial , with about 80% of all randomised participants, found a significant increase in the risk ratio of death with steroids (95% CI to ) and a relative risk of death or severe disability of (95% CI to ). For infections the pooled risk ratio from five trials was (95% CI to ) and for the ten trials reporting gastrointestinal bleeding (95% CI to ).