What are Steroid Side Effects?
Steroid Side Effects
Steroids are used in so many kinds of illnesses since it can suppress the immune system which controls inflammation. It is very useful in the management of the symptoms of inflammation in diseases like autoimmune diseases, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis and in allergies. It is also a drug of choice in the treatment of severe acute asthma attacks.
Though steroids are very useful, the use of this drug has significant side effects. It is therefore important to educate patients in taking steroids for any medical condition. Patients should be provided with a list of the most common and severe side effects so that they would be able to assess their own condition. Parents that have kids that take steroids like prednisone and Medrol should also be cautious of any side effects since aside from common side effects, there are also severe side effects that can be life-threatening.
If you have been prescribed with steroids, here are some of the most common as well as severe side effects that you should never overlook:
Common side effects of oral and injectable steroids are short term. This means that side effects may last a few days from the initial dose. These temporary side effects may or may not need medical consult and some may even go away as you gradually learn to tolerate steroid doses. Common side effects include difficulty in sleeping, mood changes, redness or flushing of the face, weight gain, fluid retention and increased appetite.
Common side effects may not be that important to patients with no other illness or underlying medical condition. However for infants, small children, patients with other illnesses and the elderly, common symptoms may be pronounced. In people who are diagnosed with glaucoma, there is increased eye pressure which can aggravate their condition and in congestive heart failure patients, fluid retention can definitely increase their symptoms.
Severe side effects of steroid use happens when the patient suffers from an allergic reaction due to allergies to steroids and one of its components, taking steroids multiple times and taking steroids and abruptly stopping the medication. This includes gastrointestinal, nervous system, muscular and skeletal side effects that could worsen when the person is severely compromised.
On the other hand, the use of steroids may not be the same for all people; doctors may recommend using steroids for a long period of time to completely manage symptoms of a particular illness like arthritis and ulcerative colitis. Taking steroids for an extended time will lead to developing glaucoma, cataracts, heart disease, diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, acid reflux disease and osteoporosis. Long term use of steroids has significant effect on a person’s health since he is more prone to getting an infection and other illness due to a suppressed immune system. Long term steroid use need constant follow ups and close monitoring of symptoms and side effects so that the patient may be spared from illness and side effects from the use of steroids like prednisone.