- Corticosteroids are used to treat a range of issues. From asthma, lupus and organ rejections too rashes and inflammation. They have been hailed as a wonder drug and for some people they are but there are some side effects to we aware of.
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Brief overview of the episode:
Corticosteroids are used to suppress inflammation and immune response. They are commonly used to treat lupus, asthma, arthritis, autoimmune disease, as an anti-rejection medication, Addison’s disease, and for diagnostic purposes. Glucocorticoids are natural produced by the adrenal glands from cholesterol with Cortisol being the basis for corticosteroids.
Most people are familiar with cortisone, hydrocortisone and prednisone but there are many other versions all used to treat different areas. Corticosteroids can be administered in an number of routes, oral, pill, cream and injection. Oral is the most common.
Prednisone is the most common oral corticosteroid. This form of administration means the corticostroids travel around the entire body. Which leads to a great potential for side effects because more systems are involved. Thankfully short-term use is not typically associated with any meaningful issues. Long-term use does however present some issues.
Some of the more common and concerning side effects include, glaucoma, skin thinning, diabetic issues, bone health issues, immune system suppression (when that is not the desired use) and both high and low blood pressure.
When corticosteroids are used and monitored appropriately there is little concern for significant side effects.