The different steroid regimes
One of the potentially confusing things in DMD care is that different physicians and different clinics often prescribe different regimens of steroids, which means you will find information about different drugs and different regimes. These guidelines have tried to establish a clear route to use steroids effectively and safely based on regular assessments of function and side effects (see here).
- Prednisone (prednisolone) and deflazacort are the two types of steroids that are mainly used in DMD. They are believed to work similarly. Neither one is clearly better. Planned trials of these drugs are important and should help us understand them better in future.
- The choice of which steroid to use depends upon availability in a particular country, the cost to the family, the way the drug is taken, and the perceived side effects. Prednisone has the advantage of being inexpensive and is available in both tablet and liquid formulation. Deflazacort may be preferred to prednisone for some individuals because there may be a slightly lower risk of weight gain.
- Starting with daily use of a steroid was preferred by the experts to the alternative regimes. Data from ongoing and future studies may modify this recommendation.