Prednisolone Improves Recovery From Bell’s Palsy
About the Study
Researchers compared prednisolone to a placebo in 496 patients over 16 years old (patients with
Patients taking prednisolone (with or without acyclovir) had better recovery than those taking the placebo. At three months, 83% of the prednisolone group were symptom-free compared to only 63% of the placebo group. At nine months, 94% of the prednisolone group had no symptoms compared to 81% of the placebo group. While at the end of nine months many in the placebo group did experience full recovery, the treatment group recovered sooner. There were very few bad reactions to the medication. Common side effects to any steroid include dizziness,
How Does This Affect You?
Bell’s palsy occurs annually at a rate of 25 per 100,000. As seen by this study, most patients will recover completely without any treatment. A long recovery can be uncomfortable and unpleasant. If you have any symptoms of facial muscle weakness, call your physician immediately so you can receive prompt treatment.
American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Sullivan FM, Swan IR, Donnan PT, Morrison JM, Smith BH, McKinstry B, et al. Early treatment with prednisolone or acyclovir in Bell's palsy. N Engl J Med . 2007 Oct 18;357(16):1598-607.
Last reviewed December 2007 by
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