There are lots of drugs in the medical industry and most of them have tremendous effects on the betterment of our physical and mental condition. But some of them have some kind of side effects that have bad effects too on our health. The excessive or irregular dose of those drugs can cause great danger to our health.

Corticosteroid is one such group of drugs that have good effects along with some serious side effects. And hence these groups of drugs should be taken only under extreme medical supervision. If you need to know that what are corticosteroids then you must read this article carefully.

What is corticosteroid?

A corticosteroid is a class of medication that is often referred to as a steroid. It is very powerful in the treatment of inflammation and poor immune system. These are drugs closely related to cortical, a hormone which is naturally produced in the adrenal cortex. But the drug must be prescribed by trained physicians after a thorough check up of patients.

How Do Corticosteroid Work?

Corticosteroids treatment is useful for on the proper work of the immune system by holding back the production of substances that generate allergic and inflammatory actions, such as prostaglandins. On the other hand, they also obstruct the function of white blood cells, which damage foreign bodies and help the immune system keep functioning properly. The obstruction with white blood cell function produces a side effect of increased propensity to infection.

Why they are used?

A corticosteroid may be prescribed by a doctor for treating a variety of illnesses and conditions, including asthma, several types of arthritis, and certain diseases; doctor also prescribed these drugs for people who are dealing with acute allergies and certain conditions that affect the skin.

The Side Effects:

Like every other drug, corticosteroids also have some side effects and for this reason it must be taken with proper guidance of doctors and physicians. Without any medical checkup these drugs should never be taken as it may cause serious effects on your health. But most of the side effects go away after you stop using the drug anymore.

Be Careful before Taking the Oral Corticosteroid Dose

Corticosteroids are the group of steroids drugs that are mostly use as anti-inflammatory. It can be very useful for the patient who suffers with joint pains and arthritis. But as corticosteroids are hormones, so they can have a broad range of side effects. These drugs can be inhaled corticosteroid, injected corticosteroid, oral corticosteroid or topical corticosteroid and each of them have their own distinct side effects.

The range and severity of these side effects depend on mostly two different factors;

  1.  The pattern of corticosteroid you are using.
  2. The time span you are using it.

These two factors can decide the seriousness and longevity of the side effects of these steroids.

In case of oral corticosteroid side effects some features can be find out:

  • an increased appetite
  • weight gain
  • insomnia or sleeplessness
  • fluid retention and
  • frequent mood changes, such as feeling anxious or irritated
  • indigestion

These are normally found in case of short term oral use of these drugs. On the other hand side effects due to the prolonged oral use of corticosteroid are different from these above mentioned side effects.

  • osteoporosis or fragile bones
  • high blood pressure
  • diabetes
  • increased vulnerability to infection
  • eye disorders with problems in cataracts and glaucoma
  • thinning of the skin
  • staining and
  • weakness of muscle

These side effects should fade away as your body adjusts to the medication or steroid therapy. If they stick with your body or become serious then just go to your physician without wasting time.

How to avoid them?                                                           

The best process to avoid these side effects is to take them under the best medical suggestion. Discuss your medical problem clearly with your doctor before you are going into these types of medication. It is better to take corticosteroid in short term doses and after a regular interval. But all these should be decided by your physician after a thorough check up of your body and health.

This will make the entire treatment less irritating and more useful in course of giving you relief from pain and inflammation.

The Most Common Side Effects of Corticosteroids Drugs

Corticosteroids are a class of powerful drugs, mainly anti-inflammatory that are used to reduce inflammation and allergic responses. Most of these drugs are come as the synthetic form of cortisone, a class of steroid hormones that naturally made in the adrenal cortex of human body. Though these drugs are highly useful for the patients who are suffering with these types of complains but can have serious side effects as well. Long term use of this drug can prolong the effects and Corticosteroid side effects can be minimized by relevant suggestions of physicians

Side effects:

There is a series of possible side effects from corticosteroid use. Most of them normally go away after the course of the treatment finishes. These side effects likely depend on how the drug is administered; for example, inhaled corticosteroids may cause coughing and a dry throat whereas a dose of corticosteroid through an injection or through corticosteroids cream may cause a side effect like thin skin and red sores in that particular part of your skin.

On the other hand, as oral doses go through the entire body so they can cause more side effects than other methods of taking the drugs.

The most known side effects that can be seen with the long term use of these drugs are; hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis, cataract, anxiety, depression, amenorrhea, and retinopathy etc. As it was said earlier, with the end of the treatment most of these side effects go away and people fill much better.

As your adrenal glands may not react as they should normally while taking corticosteroids in the regular basis so you may find some sort of physical disabilities as disability to respond to physical stress. This is normally called “adrenal insufficiency”. But in general, after one year of the steroid dose this problem normally goes away.

Other than that, quick withdrawal of these drugs, particularly if that have been taken for more than two weeks, may bring a physical condition that produce fatigue, joint pain, muscle stiffness, muscle tenderness, or fever.

So these drugs are useful but must be taken under the careful observation of trained physicians.