Many people with chronic lung disease periodically require a short-term burst of steroid pills or syrups to decrease the severity of acute attacks and prevent an emergency room visit or hospitalization. A burst may last two to seven days and may not require a gradually decreasing dosage. For others, a burst may need to continue for several weeks with a gradually decreasing dosage. You may experience a few mild side effects such as increased appetite, fluid retention, moodiness and stomach upset. These side effects are temporary and typically disappear after the medicine is stopped.