Side Effects

Potential side effects of steroids include:

  • mental status changes
  • sleep deprivation
  • blood sugar elevation in diabetics
  • blood pressure elevation in hypertensives
  • hyperacidity in patients with peptic ulcer disease
  • myopathy
  • impaired wound healing
  • bone loss
  • ocular complications

In regards to the wound healing complications, high-dose Vitamin A may be helpful. Pre-treatment bone densitometry, calcium, vitamin D, and bisphosphonates can help limit orthopedic concerns. And, a pre-treatment ophthalmologic evaluation to look at the likelihood of developing posterior subcapsular cataracts and open angle glaucoma may be appropriate.

The delivery method can help limit these adverse side effects.

Because corticosteroids are something our bodies make anyway, replacing too much for too long can cause a body to quit producing it. Adrenals typically produce the equivalent of 5 mg of prednisone per day. You can generally take any amount of steroids up to three weeks without having to worry about such changes.

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