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Corticosteroid Side Effects

Updated on August 22, 2011
Corticosteroid side effects
Corticosteroid side effects


Corticosteroid is a natural steroid hormone produced by adrenal glands. It is used to treat many conditions such as arthritis, allergic reactions, skin diseases, breathing problems, blood disorders, certain cancers, eye problems, digestive problems and hormone replacement. Corticosteroids work by decreasing inflammation and reducing the activity of the immune system. Some of the common side effects of corticosteroid include upset stomach, increased appetite, bloating and weight gain. Long term use of steroids can also lead to bone loss or osteoporosis. Corticosteroids is also referred as steroids.

Prednisone is the most commonly used type of steroid to treat certain rheumatologic diseases. Prednisone come under various brand names which include Deltasone, Cortan, Meticorten, Liquid Pred, Panasol-S, Orasone, Sterapred, and Prednicen-M.

Tell your health care provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Prednisone can pass into breast milk and may harm a breastfeeding baby. Many drugs can interact with prednisone. Talk to your doctor if are using aspirin, blood thinners, cyclosporine, diabetes medications and seizure medications. Tell your doctor about all medications which includes prescription, over the counter and vitamin medicines.

Side effects of corticosteroids
Side effects of corticosteroids

Corticosteroid come in many forms.

Orally - Tablets, capsules or syrups help treat the inflammation and pain associated with conditions such as arthritis and upus

Intranasal sprays - Inhalers and sprays help control inflammation associated with nasal allergies and asthma.

Topically - Topical corticosteroid creams and ointments applied to the skin to reduce inflammation in conditions such as eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis.

Injection: Injection used to treat pain and inflammation of the joints.

Side effects of corticosteroids:

Oral corticosteroid side effects:

  • Elevated pressure in the eye
  • Fluid retention
  • Weight gain
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Mood swings

Inhaled corticosteroid side effects:

  • Coughing
  • Sore throat
  • dry mouth

Topical corticosteroid side effects:

  • Thinning of the skin
  • Skin lesions
  • Acne

Injected corticosteroid side effects:

  • Shrinking of soft tissues
  • Loss of color in the skin

Side effects for women may include male-type facial and body hair growth and baldness.

How to use Corticosteroids:

Take this medication as directed by your doctor. Some corticosteroid medicines include cortisone, prednisone, and methyl prednisolone.

Missed dose: If you miss a dose of corticosteroids, take it as soon as possible. If it is time for your next dose, then skip the missed dose and go back to your normal dosing schedule.

Storage: Store corticosteroids between 59 and 86 degrees F. Store away from heat, light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom.

Cortisone injection:


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    • profile image

      ana 4 years ago

      good morning,

      well, I had a corticoid injection 3 days ago and, since then, I feel my mouth really dry. can you tell me for how long will I be feeling this?

      thank you for the article and for your help!

    • urmilashukla23 profile image

      Urmila 5 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

      Very informative!

      I am on high dose of prednisone since last 4-5 years and now i am having one of the side affect, cataract on my both eyes. I still have to continue taking them due to my severe medical condition

      I like this article.Voted up!

    • Randy M. profile image

      Randy McLaughlin 6 years ago from Liberia, Costa Rica

      Good information. I have found that it is good to find ways that help one avoid the use of these types of "rescue" medicines. I have had to use them on occasions, and have since taken up practice of qigong and tai chi, which has helped me become more energetic and overcome asthma. Taking care of yourself is better than having a dependency on these drugs.

    • rsusan profile image

      Rika Susan 6 years ago from South Africa

      Very informative hub, blessedmom! While corticosteroids are a life-saver for many folks, the side-effects (particularly with long term use) are unfortunate. I think with this type of medication, it is crucial to have as much information as possiblie - not just about the pros, but also the cons.