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Updated on June 20, 2021

Oral Steroids

Oral steroids are used to reduce the harmful effect of the inflammatory process caused by your disease.  General rule of using steroids is to prescribe the least strong steroid which is effective for the shortest possible length of time to achieve the healing effect but reducing side effects.

Indications for use

Click to view JohnHopkins video on The bad of steroids

Mild side effects

  • disturbance of your blood sugar which may make it more difficult to control your diabetes
  • mood change (increased irritability or depression)
  • sleep disturbance
  • Water retention and weight gain
  • Gastric symptoms like gastritis or stomach ulcer

Serious side effects

If potent corticosteroids are used for a long time, there’s a risk of developing these side effects;

  • stunted growth in children
  • adrenal gland suppression
  • Cushing’s syndrome
  • Glaucoma
  • steroid induced Cataract
  • prone to fractures due to bone thinning called osteoporosis
  • prone to infections due to weakening of the immune system

Dos and Don’ts when taking steroids for long periods

DO take the medication with food at the same time every day (mornings are best)

DO follow the dosage instructions given by your doctor

DO see your doctor if you get any side effects listed above

DO see your doctor for regular follow-up visits so that he/she can adjust your dose according to your disease activity

DO NOT double the next dose even if you had missed a dose

DO NOT stop your steroids suddenly due to withdrawal effects. The dose has to be tapered down slowly before it can be stopped

DO NOT self medicate steroid medication

Discuss the treatment regime with your doctor or pharmacist to use your medication safely.  AVOID self-medication

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Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. 

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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