Friday Dr Q&A with Prof Hugo – Oral Steroid

Prof Hugo Van Bever

Prof. Hugo Van Bever is the Head of National University Hospital’s Pediatric Allergy, Immunology & Rheumatology Department. He is also an active member of the board APAPARI (Asian Pacific Association of Paediatric Allergy, Respirology and Immunology) and has published more than 250 papers in national and international journals. His main research interest areas are paediatric allergy and paediatric respiratory infections.

Marcie Mom: Good day, Prof Hugo. I must thank you again for helping Marcie with her eczema. I noticed that it got much better after the one-time oral steroid course you prescribed (read more in this post).

Oral steroid such as prednisolone is sometimes prescribed for children with severe eczema. Can a child only be prescribed oral steroid once? I’ve read horror stories online of how some doctors negligently keep prescribing oral steroid to the point that it no longer works for the child. How can a parent assess if the doctor is taking due care in his prescription for their child?

Prof Hugo: Oral steroids should be avoided, especially because eczema is a chronic disease, and oral steroids cannot be used chronically. Only in severe flare-ups a short course (5 to 7 days) is recommended. In some children (exceptionally) a longer treatment can be needed. However, this should be given in an EOD dose (= every other day). It is all a matter of trust in your doctor. If your child has severe eczema, needing oral steroids, I advise to see a paediatric allergist or paediatric dermatologist.

Marcie Mom: Thanks, so a note to parents to trust your doctor, for a list of doctors in Singapore, you can refer to this post.

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  1. Hi Jennie,

    Thanks for commenting, you can look at the links on the right sidebar and also under featured guests – all reliable sources of information 🙂

    Thanks n sorry it took me this long to reply!

  2. I love this post! providing us this useful information about oral steroid is really a big help. Thanks for sharing this to us and i’m looking forward to read more healthful information from you.

  3. Thanks for sharing this helpful conversation. I know that oral steroid once you take it without the doctors prescription will lead to overdose or worst. That’s what our doctor told my father in law who keeps on taking oral steroid for his disease.
    It’s better to ask your doctor before taking any medicine.

  4. Hey! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I really enjoy reading through your posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same topics? Thanks a ton!