This is usually taken without any problems. Side-effects are more likely to occur if you take a long course of steroids more than months , or if you take short courses repeatedly. The higher the dose, the greater the risk of side-effects. This is why the lowest possible dose which controls symptoms is aimed for if you need steroids long-term. Some diseases need a higher dose than others to control symptoms. Even for the same disease, the dose needed often varies from person to person.
For many diseases, the benefits of taking steroids usually outweigh the side-effects. However, side-effects can sometimes be troublesome. You should read the information leaflet that comes with your medicine packet for a full list of possible side-effects. The main possible side-effects include the following:. The above are only the main possible side-effects which may affect some people who take steroids.
There is often a balance between the risk of side-effects against the symptoms and damage that may result from some diseases if they are not treated. Some of the less common side-effects are not listed above but will be included on the leaflet that comes with your medicine.
There are very few people who cannot take oral corticosteroids. Only people who have serious infections and are not taking treatment for the infection should not take oral steroids. This is because steroids suppress your immune system, making you less likely to fight off the infection. If you have taken a short course of weeks of an oral steroid, you can simply stop taking the tablets at the end of the course.
Do not stop taking oral steroids suddenly if you have been taking them for more than three weeks. It probably does no harm to forget the odd dose. However, you may have serious withdrawal effects once your body is used to the steroids. These may develop within a few days if you stop oral steroids suddenly. Any change in dose should be supervised by a doctor. Any reductions in dose are done slowly, over a number of weeks.
Your body normally makes steroid chemicals by itself which are necessary to be healthy. When you take oral steroids for a few weeks or more, your body may reduce or stop making its own steroid chemicals. If you then stop taking oral steroids suddenly, your body does not have any steroids. This can cause various withdrawal symptoms until your body resumes making natural steroids over a few weeks. The withdrawal symptoms can be serious, even life-threatening and include:.
If the dose is reduced gradually, the body gradually resumes its natural production of steroids and the withdrawal symptoms do not occur. Potentially, many other medicines can 'interact' with steroids. This means the steroid could affect how they work, either resulting in the other medicine being ineffective, or having more side-effects than usual.
Or they can interact the other way around, with the other medicine affecting the corticosteroid. Doses may have to be adjusted accordingly in order for both medicines to be taken together. As long as your doctor knows you are taking this, they can advise accordingly. Usually you can take both medicines, but you may need to be monitored for the effects. For example, you may need blood tests to check the combination is not causing any problems.
Doses can then be adjusted as necessary. Your doctor will help you weigh up the pros and cons but, generally speaking, steroids can usually be used safely in pregnant or breastfeeding women. The lowest dose possible for the shortest possible amount of time would be used.
If you think you have had a side-effect to one of your medicines you can report this on the Yellow Card Scheme. You can do this online at www. The Yellow Card Scheme is used to make pharmacists, doctors and nurses aware of any new side-effects that medicines or any other healthcare products may have caused.
If you wish to report a side-effect, you will need to provide basic information about:. Indian J Endocrinol Metab. PLoS Med. I was misdiagnosed by my GP who prescribed prednisolone. I was on them for 3 years and struggled to get off them even though I tapered quite slowly.
Now I am off them for a year but I am still Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Egton Medical Information Systems Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions.
For details see our conditions. Topical Steroids excluding Inhaled Steroids. In this series. Steroid medicines known as corticosteroids are man-made versions of natural steroids. If you have any questions or concerns about this, talk to the healthcare professional who prescribed your steroids.
The person treating you might change the dose of your medications if needed. Steroids can affect the eyes, for example by making glaucoma worse or causing cataracts. They can also cause a problem with your eyes known as serous chorioretinopathy see-russ core-ee-oh-ret-in-op-ath-ee , which happens when fluid collects in part of the eye.
If you notice any changes in your eyesight, such as your vision becoming blurry, be sure to let your doctor know as soon as possible. This can cause thinning of the skin, stretch marks, and the face to become rounder, but it usually clears up once steroids are stopped. If growth is slowed, they might be referred to a specialist doctor for advice.
Making sensible food choices and including some physical activity in your daily routine should help you avoid putting on weight. Steroids can weaken bones, which can lead to a condition known as osteoporosis. Your doctor may advise you to take drugs called bisphosphonates , or calcium and vitamin D supplements , along with the steroids to help prevent this. Regular exercise , especially things that involve your bones carrying the weight of your body, such as walking, can also help to reduce the risk of getting osteoporosis.
You should also make sure you get enough calcium in your diet , and avoid smoking and drinking too much alcohol. Steroids can be taken along with other drugs. Both alcohol and steroid tablets could upset your stomach. If you have indigestion or other stomach problems after starting steroids, then alcohol is likely to add to the problem, so you may want to cut back on how much alcohol you drink.
You can find out more about units of alcohol at www. Current guidelines say that some steroid tablets, including prednisolone, can be taken during pregnancy. You should discuss the risks with your doctor if you have any concerns. Download steroids information booklet. Print this page. What are steroids? Related information.
How is the steroid taken? What does it do? What conditions is it used for? What is a common name for this type? By mouth — tablets, liquids, dissolvable tablets, also known as oral steroids Reduces inflammation throughout the whole body.
Rheumatoid arthritis , lupus , gout , other types of inflammatory arthritis or autoimmune conditions. Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout, other types of inflammatory arthritis or autoimmune conditions. Uveitis prednisolone Applied to the skin as a cream or gel, also known as topical steroids Reduces inflammation on the skin.
Psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis. How are they taken? You should always take medication as prescribed by the person treating you. Tablets, liquids and soluble tablets Usually once a day. Preferably in the morning. Either with or after food to prevent stomach problems. Creams and gels Usually once or twice a day for a few weeks. Your doctor might suggest taking them less often but for a longer period. Should only be used on affected areas of the skin. Eye drops and ointments May need to be taken regularly throughout the day.
Usually one drop in each eye each time you take it. Side-effects and risks. Some of the side effects of steroids are shown below: Tablets, liquids and soluble tablets weight gain and increased appetite stomach pains, indigestion or heartburn sleep problems changes in mood bruising easily thinning of the skin stretch marks.
To understand more about steroids and their usage, indianexpress. That is, for an individual weighing 60 kg, the steroid use should be less than mg and ideally restricted to 60 mg. Patients with severe COVID can develop a systemic inflammatory response that can lead to lung injury and multisystem organ dysfunction. Click here to join our channel indianexpress and stay updated with the latest headlines.
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