P498 Sources of excess steroid prescriptions and clinical adverse outcomes associated with steroid excess: The Leeds Steroids study

Rosiou, K.(1);Carbonell, J.(1);Dolby, V.(1);Monfared, N.(1);Selinger, C.(1);

(1)Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Gastroenterology, Leeds, United Kingdom;


This retrospective study aims to determine steroid prescription practice across primary and secondary care, quantify the proportion of primary care prescriptions communicated to secondary care, and assess outcomes associated with excessive steroid use.


The study cohort consists of all patients attending IBD clinics under Leeds Teaching Hospitals from 1/1/2016 to 31/12/2017 with linked primary care records. Data were extracted from the hospital’s electronic health record. Steroid excess was defined based on ECCO guidelines. Cases with excess were reviewed to determine if escalation was implemented, appropriateness of escalation, timeliness of that (within 6 weeks of steroid course) and whether steroid excess was unavoidable.


2246 patients were included in the study (Mage: 47.26 y; 47.6% male; 46.4% CD, 46.8% UC; 36.2% of CD patients on thiopurines, 26.3% on biologics; 78.8% of UC patients on 5-ASA, 21.4% thiopurines, 5.6% biologics). During the study period 32.9% of patients were exposed to steroids (77.4% of steroid prescriptions issued for IBD, 27.5% of prescriptions for IBD originating from primary care).

Significantly more prescriptions from secondary care were of appropriate dose and duration compared to primary care (84.7% vs 40.7%, p<0.001). Secondary care was made aware within six weeks of steroid initiation in 60.3% of steroid courses prescribed by primary care. 49.5% of patients flared after being prescribed steroids from primary care, compared to 39.1% from secondary care, p=0.003.

Steroid excess was observed in 14.5% of patients and was related to IBD in 76% of them. In patients with steroid excess due to their IBD; excess was acted upon in 82.8% of patients (77.5% had treatment escalation). Escalation was considered appropriate in 98.9% of patients however, it was timely in 62.4% of patients and steroid excess was unavoidable in 47.6%.

Patients with steroid excess due to IBD had significantly more hospital admissions for IBD (p<0.001), hospital admissions for infections (p=0.036) and more antibiotic courses prescribed by GP (p=0.023) compared to patients without steroid excess.


Steroid prescribing for IBD flares originating from primary care is common however, steroid dose and duration are frequently inappropriate, and more than one third of courses are not communicated to secondary care in a timely manner. A significantly higher amount of patients flare again after being prescribed steroids by primary care. Finally, over 50% of steroid excess is potentially avoidable and steroid excess is related to negative consequences such as IBD admissions, admissions for infections and antibiotic prescriptions.