Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids

You might have liver changes that are usually mild and unlikely to cause symptoms. You have regular blood tests to check for any changes in the way your liver is working. The amount (dose) and length of steroid treatment is different depending on why you’re having steroids.

  • People can become excited, confused and imagine things that aren’t real.
  • There’s generally no reason why someone shouldn’t be able to use a steroid inhaler or steroid spray.
  • If steroid use is brief, up to a few weeks, it is possible that none of the listed side effects will occur.
  • Rinsing your mouth out with water after using your medication can help to prevent oral thrush.

Your child may become irritable and have mood swings, and even revert to earlier childhood behaviour, such as temper tantrums. Any they do encounter are temporary and will stop when the course is complete. If your child is taking a high dose of steroids for a long time, it can affect their growth. Your child’s health team will keep a check on them throughout the course of the steroid treatment to make sure that any such effects are minimised.

Blood clots

Taking steroids for longer than a few weeks can affect your ability to fight infection (immunity). Any side effects of steroids are usually short-term and gradually improve once you stop taking them. The purpose of a steroid emergency card is to help support the early recognition of adrenal crisis. As they reduce or stop the natural production of cortisol by the body they need to be stopped slowly to allow the body time to start producing cortisol again.

  • Oral contraceptives increased prednisolone concentrations by 131%.
  • Reduced doses are necessary in patients with hypoalbuminaemia.
  • As well as being an anti-inflammatory medication, they also work to suppress the immune system.
  • 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.
  • Steroids can hide or change the signs and symptoms of some infections.
  • If you lose it, you can get a replacement from your pharmacy or GP.

Psychological effects have been reported on withdrawal of corticosteroids; the frequency is unknown. Calciphylaxis may occur very rarely during treatment with corticosteroids (see section 4.8). Patients/carers should be advised to seek medical advice if symptoms develop.

Medicines that can interact with corticosteroids

Your dose may need to be reduced slowly over a few weeks or months. If you’ve been taking corticosteroids for a while, you may also need tests before you stop taking them. These will make sure that your adrenal glands are still working properly.

Steroids can increase your blood pressure (hypertension), which can lead to headaches and dizziness. You should have regular blood pressure checks while you are taking steroids – ask your medical team for advice. Steroids regulate emotions such as excitement and nervousness.

Changes in blood sugar levels

If you feel feverish or unwell, or develop any new symptoms after starting steroids, it’s important to tell your doctor or rheumatology nurse. Anticoagulant medicines are medications that make the blood less sticky. They’re often prescribed to people with a history of blood clots or an increased risk of developing them. There’s some evidence that steroid inhalers used by people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can increase the risk of chest infections like pneumonia.

Side-effects and risks

Liver disease prolongs the half-life of prednisolone and, if the patient has hypoalbuminaemia, also increases the proportion of unbound drug and may thereby increase adverse effects. Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via the Yellow Card Scheme at /yellowcard.

The renal clearance of salicylates is increased by corticosteroids and steroid withdrawal may result in salicylate intoxication. Salicylates and corticosteroids should be used concurrently with caution. Patients receiving both drugs should be observed closely for adverse effects of either drug. Patients taking corticosteroids should be advised to take particular care to avoid exposure to measles and to seek immediate medical advice if exposure occurs.

Effects on other treatments

Hypoadrenalism may, in theory, occur in the neonate following prenatal exposure to corticosteroids but usually resolves spontaneously following birth and is rarely clinically important. Cataracts have been observed how to order steroids in infants born to mothers treated with long-term prednisolone during pregnancy. As with all drugs, corticosteroids should only be prescribed when the benefits to the mother and child outweigh the risks.

● Effects on the eyes, such as raised pressure inside the eye (glaucoma), cataracts. ● Mood changes, including being irritable, short-tempered or aggressive. Prednisolone side effects become more likely with higher doses. The Macmillan Support Line offers confidential support to people living with cancer and their loved ones.