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Glucocorticoids for Croup

Topic Overview

Glucocorticoid medicines (such as budesonide and dexamethasone) decrease inflammation and swelling in the body. Some children who have croup symptoms get this medicine to help prevent croup from getting worse.

  • Dexamethasone may be given either orally or by injection into the muscle (IM). Although one dose may be all that is needed, your child may be given a few more doses to take by mouth at home.
  • Budesonide is given by nebulizer.

Glucocorticoids have been shown to work well for children who have croup symptoms. Children usually get relief within 6 hours of having the medicine. And serious side effects are rare when one dose is given.

Related Information

References

Other Works Consulted

  • Russell K, et al. (2004). Glucocorticoids for croup (review). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (1). Oxford: Update Software.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Thomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics
Last Revised June 27, 2012
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