Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health. Steroids Also called: Corticosteroids, Glucocorticoids. On this page Basics Summary Start Here. Learn More Related Issues Specifics. See, Play and Learn Images.
Research Clinical Trials Journal Articles. Resources No links available. You may need to take corticosteroids to treat Arthritis Asthma Autoimmune diseases such as lupus and multiple sclerosis Skin conditions such as eczema and rashes Some kinds of cancer Steroids are strong medicines, and they can have side effects, including weakened bones and cataracts.
Start Here. Related Issues. Prednisone Johns Hopkins Vasculitis Center. Clinical Trials. If you're taking high doses of steroids, or if you're on them for more than three weeks, you'll need to carry a steroid card. This will have information on your dose and how long you've been taking them for. Your doctor, rheumatology nurse or pharmacist should give you a steroid card if you need one. Make sure any change to your dose of steroid is updated on the card.
Steroid treatment can stop the body producing natural hormones, which can be dangerous if you get ill, have an accident or need an operation. Keeping the card with you will help any other doctor who treats you to manage your care correctly. 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.