Prednisone- An immunosuppressant and anti-inflammatory medication

Prednisone is a corticosteroid that prevents the flow of substances in the body that cause inflammation. It also overpowers the immune system. It is used as immunosuppressant or anti-inflammatory medication. Prednisone is helpful in treating various health ailments like skin conditions, lupus, arthritis, ulcerative colitis, psoriasis, breathing disorders and allergic disorders.

Important Information

Avoid taking Prednisone if there is a fungal infection anywhere in your body. Steroid medications can make your immune system weak, which makes your body get an infection easily. Stay away from those who have infections or are sick. Do not opt for a live vaccine when you are on Prednisone.

Do not stop Prednisone suddenly and speak to your doctor regarding change in dosage.

To ensure whether Prednisone is suitable for you or not, let your doctor know if you have the following

  • any health problems that leads to diarrhoea
  • kidney disease
  • live disease
  • tuberculosis
  • osteoporosis
  • glaucoma/cataracts
  • thyroid disorder
  • history of malaria
  • mental illness/depression
  • muscle disorder like myasthenia gravis
  • history of stomach bleeding
  •  diabetes

Using steroids for a long term can lead to osteoporosis (bone loss) particularly if you smoke, if you do not work out, do not take adequate amount of calcium or vitamin D through your diet or you have a family history of osteoporosis. Speak to your doctor to know about the risks associated with osteoporosis.

Dosing information

Normal Adult dose – Nephrotic Syndrome

Initial dose: 2mg/kg/per day (maximum dose-80mg per day) in split dose of 3-4 times per day until urine gets protein free 3 consecutive days (maximum: 28 days) with 1-1.5mg/kg/per dose to be given every alternate day for almost 4 weeks.

Normal Paediatric dose – Asthma

Below 1 year

Acute: 10mg to be taken orally after every 12 hours

Maintenance: 10mg to be taken orally every alternate day

1-4 years

Acute: 20mg to be taken orally after every 12 hours

Maintenance: 20mg to be taken orally every alternate day

5-12 years

Acute: 30mg to be taken orally after every 12 hours

Maintenance: 30mg to be taken orally every alternate day

Above- 12 years

Acute: 40 mg orally every 12 hours.
Maintenance: 40 mg orally every alternate day.

 

Prednisone and pregnancy

Use of Prednisone during pregnancy can cause birth defects or low birth weight especially if you use Prednisone during the first three months of pregnancy. Speak to your doctor if you get pregnant or planning to get pregnant.

Prednisone and breastfeeding

Prednisone can secret in breast milk and can harm your baby. So talk to your doctor if you are a lactating mother.

 

Side effects

  • eye pain, blurred vision
  • tarry or bloody stools
  • pancreatitis
  • low potassium
  • fast weight gain, breathlessness
  • extreme sadness or happiness, severe, depression, change in behaviour or personality, convulsions
  • extremely high BP

Common side effects

  • increased appetite, slow weight gain
  • slow healing of wound
  • increases sweating, acne, dry skin, discoloration or bruising
  • sleep problems
  • bloating, nausea and stomach pain

Prednisolone- Helps treat many breathing and intestinal problems

Prednisolone is a corticosteroid used to treat breathing problems like asthma, some blood disorders, eye diseases, collagen diseases, cancer, intestinal problems, endocrine problems, skin conditions, swelling occurred as a result of certain conditions. It modifies the response of our immune system to different conditions thereby decreasing inflammation.

Avoid using Prednisolone if

  • If you have a fungal infection, optic nerve inflammation, malaria, or herpes eye infection
  • you are allergic to a specific ingredient present in Prednisolone
  • you are using mifepristone
  • you are going to have live vaccination

Some medical conditions can interact with Prednisolone. Speak to your doctor if you suffer from the following health ailments

  • Have a history of heart attack, heart problems, kidney or liver problems, seizures, diabetes, underactive thyroid, fluid retention, adrenal gland problems, mood or mental problems or high BP.
  • If your live viral vaccination or any other vaccination is scheduled
  • if you are planning to become pregnant, if you are pregnant or you are  a nursing mother
  • if you are using any prescription/non prescription medicine, dietary supplement or herbal preparation
  • If you are allergic to certain types of substances, food or medicines
  • If you recently had or have a viral, bacterial or fungal infection, measles, chickenpox or shingles.
  • If your bones are weak or have muscle problems.
  • If you had taken a vaccination recently

Pregnancy/Breastfeeding and Prednisolone

If you get pregnant, speak to your health care provider. You should discuss the risks and benefits of taking Prednisolone during pregnancy.

Prednisolone is secreted in breast milk. If you are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed your baby, talk to your doctor to know the possible benefits and risks to your baby.

Side effects of Prednisolone

  • Agitation
  • anxiety
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • irritability
  • blurred vision
  • breathlessness
  • weight gain
  • trouble walking, speaking and thinking
  • rattling and noisy breathing
  • mood changes
  • nervousness
  • slow, fast, irregular or pounding pulse or heartbeat

 

Drug Interactions

Some medications that can interact with Prednisolone are as listed below. You can speak to your doctor if you are taking these medicines or any other medicine

  • cyclosporine, Clarithromycin, estrogens, ketoconazole and oral contraceptives as they can increase the side effects caused by Prednisolone.
  • Anticholinesterases, mifepristone, aspirin, ritodrine, methotrexate, quinolone antibiotics, diuretics or attenuated live/live vaccines as the risk caused due to the side of these medications can be increased by Prednisolone
  • Barbiturates, ephedrine, carbamazepine, hydantoins or rifampin as they can reduce the efficacy of Prednisolone.
  • Anticoagulants, hydantoins, inactivated or killed vaccines as their efficacy can be decreased by Prednisolone

Using Prednisolone the right way

Use Prednisolone exactly as prescribed by the doctor. You can also check the label to know about right dosing instructions. Take Prednisolone orally with food. In case you miss a dose of Prednisolone, take it as soon as you remember else if it is the time for you next dose, skip the missed dose. Do not take extra dose to make up for the missed dose.

 

Methylprednisolone- Treating different inflammatory conditions effectively

Methylprednisolone is a steroid that helps preventing the flow of substances in the body that cause inflammation. Methylprednisolone is used to treat different medical conditions like psoriasis, allergic disorders, lupus, arthritis, ulcerative colitis and conditions that can affect stomach, skin, lungs, eyes, blood cells and nervous system.

Important Information

Avoid using this medication if you have a fungal infection in your body. Before you use Methylprednisolone, discuss with your doctor about your medical conditions and other medication that you are using. There are several diseases that can be influenced by the use of steroid and many other drugs can interact with these steroids.

Methylprednisolone can make your immune system weak and your body tends to get an infection easily or it can make the existing infection worse. In case you have any infection or illness in the past couple of weeks or at present, tell your doctor without any hesitation.

Stay away from people who are having infections or are sick. Call your physician for preventive treatment if you come in contact with measles or chickenpox virus. Do not stop taking Methylprednisolone all of a sudden, talk to your doctor for dosage adjustments.

Let your doctor know if you have any of these health problems

  • encountered head injury recently
  • liver or kidney disease
  • blood pressure or heart disease
  • cataracts/glaucoma
  • thyroid disorder
  • tuberculosis
  • pinworms
  • epilepsy or seizures
  • if you use aspirin in high doses or on a daily basis
  • if you use oral medication for diabetes or insulin
  • high calcium levels in blood associated with cancer
  • mental illness or depression

Dosing Information

If you miss a dose of Methylprednisolone, you should seek medical help and in case of overdose, call poison control centre. An overdose of Methylprednisolone though doesn’t lead to any life threatening effects, still long term use of steroids or taking in high doses can lead to serious side effects like easy bruising, thinning skin, increased facial hair or acne, impotence or menstrual problems.

Normal Adult Dose – Allergic Rhinitis:

Acetate: 80 -120 mg intramuscular only.

Normal Adult Dose – Dermatologic Lesion:

Acetate: 40-120 mg intramuscular – weekly for 1-4 weeks.

Usual Adult Dose – Rheumatoid Arthritis:

Acetate: 40 -120 mg intramuscular- weekly
Large joints: 20-80 mg intraarticular
Medium joints: 10-40 mg intraarticular
Small joints: 4-10 mg intraarticular

 

Methylprednisolone and pregnancy

It is still known whether using Methylprednisolone during pregnancy can harm unborn baby or not. It is better to discuss with your doctor if you planning to become pregnant or you are pregnant.

Methylprednisolone and breastfeeding

There are still no evidences available that state whether using Methylprednisolone during breastfeeding is safe or not for the baby or whether the medication secretes in breast milk.

Side effects

  • eye pain, tunnel vision, blurred vision
  • unusual pain in back, leg or arm
  • changes in personality, unusual behaviour or thoughts, severe depression
  • breathlessness, fast weight gain, swelling
  • convulsions
  • tarry or bloody stools
  • low potassium

Common side effects

  • weakness or mild pain in muscles
  • headache
  • bloating or stomach discomfort

Hydrocortisone- A corticosteroid that treats many skin conditions too

Hydrocortisone is a corticosteroid that is used to treat severe allergies, multiple sclerosis, asthma, arthritis and various skin conditions. It prevents the tissues from reacting to inflammation. It also changes the response of our body to immune stimulation.

Avoid using Hydrocortisone if

  • If you have a fungal infection
  • you are allergic to a specific ingredient present in Hydrocortisone
  • you are using mifepristone

Some medical conditions can interact with Hydrocortisone. Speak to your doctor if the following medical conditions are applicable to you

  • If you are allergic to certain types of substances, food or medicines
  • Have a history of kidney or liver problems, overactive thyroid, high BP, oesophagus inflammation, stomach problems, heart attack, heart problems, bowel problems, bowel blockage, mood or mental problems gravis or ulcerative colitis.
  • If your live viral vaccination or any other vaccination is scheduled
  • if you are planning to become pregnant, if you are pregnant or you are  a nursing mother
  • if you are using any prescription/non prescription medicine, dietary supplement or herbal preparation

Dosing information

Normal Adult Dose – Adrenocortical Insufficiency

Acute Adrenal Gland Failure:
100 mg IV bolus, then 300 mg/day in split doses after every 8 hours

Or same like continuous dosing for about 48 hours.

When patient is stable, the dose can be changed to oral, 50 mg after every 8 hours for 6 doses,

Then adjust the dose to 30 – 50 mg per day

Usual Adult Dose – Anti-inflammatory

Oral, Intravenous or, Intramuscular: 15-240 mg  per day

Usual Adult Dose- Shock

200 mg/day by continuous intravenous dosing

Side effects- Major

More common

  • blurred vision
  • agitation
  • Aggression
  • blurred vision
  • anxiety
  • nervousness
  • weight gain
  • breathlessness
  • rattling or noisy breathing
  • headache
  • irritability
  • trouble speaking, walking or thinking

Drug Interactions

Discuss with your health care provider if you are using any other medications apart from Hydrocortisone. They can be illegal drugs, herbal, dietary, nutritional, dietary drugs especially

  • Aspirin
  • Arthritis medications
  • Cyclosporine
  • Estrogen
  • Digoxin
  • Theophylline
  • Phenytoin
  • Phenobarbital
  • Ketoconazole
  • Vitamins
  • Rifampin
  • Anticoagulants

You should also restrict the amount of alcohol you take while using oral Hydrocortisone especially if you take aspirin in large doses, take arthritis medicines or have a history of stomach ulcers.

Hydrocortisone and pregnancy

Since there are no evidences available that explain whether use of Hydrocortisone is safe or not during pregnancy, it is recommended that pregnant should avoid using Hydrocortisone during pregnancy. Check with your doctor to make sure if it is safe to use this medication while you are pregnant.

Hydrocortisone and breastfeeding

There are not adequate studies available to justify the use of Hydrocortisone during breast feeding, so breastfeeding moms should avoid using Hydrocortisone. Get in touch with your doctor to find out more.

Make sure you discuss about your medical conditions and the medicines you are using before you start using Hydrocortisone and take Hydrocortisone as recommended by the doctor.

 

Cortisone- A steroid that helps fight inflammation effectively

Cortisone is a steroid that helps to treat inflammation and many other health problems like skin conditions, allergic disorders, arthritis, ulcerative colitis, lupus, breathing disorders and psoriasis.

Important information

Avoid using Cortisone if you are allergic to the medication or if there is a fungal infection in your body. Before you start using Cortisone, let your doctor know about your medical conditions and other medicines that you use. There are certain diseases that can be affected by the use of steroids and similarly some other drugs can interact with steroids.

You might need a change in dosage if you have undergone a surgery, or you are ill, have an infection or fever or you are under stress. Do not change the dose of this medication without asking your doctor. Try to stay away from people having infections or who are sick. You should call your physician for preventive treatment if you come in contact with virus causing measles or chicken pox. These conditions can be severe               or fatal in patients using steroids.

To make sure whether Cortisone is safe for you or not tell your physician if you have

  • osteoporosis
  • kidney disease
  • diabetes
  • thyroid disorder
  • glaucoma/cataracts
  • tuberculosis
  • history of malaria
  • mental illness/depression
  • high BP

Dosing information

Normal Adult Dose – Adrenal Insufficiency

25 mg – 300 mg/day to be taken orally or IM, in 1 to 2 split doses.

Normal Adult Dose – idiopathic (Immune) – Thrombocytopenic Purpura:

25 mg – 300 mg/day to be taken orally or IM, in 1 to 2 split doses.

Normal Usual Adult Dose – Shock

25 mg – 300 mg/day to be taken orally or IM, in 1 to 2 split doses.

If you miss a dose of Cortisone, take it as soon as you recollect, else if it is almost the time for your next scheduled dose, then do not take the missed dose. Do not take extra dose to make up for the dose you missed.

Overdose

Call poison control centre in case of overdose.  Though overdose of Cortisone is not life threatening, but taking high doses of steroids for a long term can lead to some serious symptoms like easy bruising, thinning skin, increased facial hair or acne and menstrual problems.

Cortisone and Pregnancy

There is still no documented data available that clarifies whether use of Cortisone during pregnancy can harm the unborn baby. Inform your health care provider if you get pregnant, planning to conceive while you are on this medication.

Cortisone and breastfeeding

Cortisone can secrete in breast milk and can harm the breastfeeding baby. Avoid breastfeeding while you are on Cortisone.

Side effects – Cortisone

  • vision problems
  • low potassium
  • unusual thoughts, behaviour, severe depression or convulsions
  • tarry or bloody stools
  • high BP
  • breathlessness, fast weight gain or swelling
  • pancreatitis

Less serious- Side effects

  • increased sweating
  • sleep problems
  • dry skin, acne, discoloration, thinning skin or bruising
  • stomach pain, nausea or bloating
  • mood changes
  • slow healing of wound

Eczema treatment and side effects of Corticosteroids

There is actually no cure known for eczema. Any treatment for eczema is only helpful to reduce eczema symptoms. Let us learn about the symptoms of this skin disease. Scaling, constant itching, swelling and thickening of skin areas that are affected are common symptoms. Well, symptoms also vary from one individual to other depending on which part of the body is affected by eczema.

Studies conducted on eczema came up with conclusions like it is better to prevent symptoms by avoiding the factors that trigger eczema. The mild symptoms observed can easily be treated using compresses and moisturizers, which helps skin itching and dryness. But once the inflammation resides under the skin, these remedies won’t work.

Still the severe symptoms of eczema can be managed by using anti-inflammatory agents, like adrenal cortical steroids are based on steroids.  Corticosteroids are used to treat eczema and they are effective in treating many inflammatory disease related to skin including eczema.

Different types of   Corticosteroids

The   Corticosteroids are available in different forms and are used to handle eczema. They are available in topical forms that can be applied to the skin like creams, lotions, ointments and foams. These types of adrenal cortical steroids forms are used on a regular basis to treat mild and moderate inflammation of eczema. For some severe cases, doctors suggest injected and oral corticosteroids. These forms are used as last options after the topical forms fail to treat the symptoms of eczema.

The Corticosteroids of aren’t recommended for pregnant women suffering from eczema. There are some birth defects like cleft palate and cleft lip were noticed with the application of cortical steroids applied during pregnancy.

Side effects

Many people suffering from eczema do know about Corticosteroids and its side effects and related treatments. The family can consult professional doctors who can guide them properly and had handled such cases in the past successfully.

Any treatment deals with medications and the concern how effective the treatment is, one is always concerned about the side effects that occur. Researchers say that the side effects are solely based on potency and dosage of Corticosteroids used. Another factor is form of Corticosteroids used  like topical, oral, injected and also on duration of treatment, affected area and its size, age of the patient etc.,

Cataract – it can occur due to high dose of Corticosteroids or application of topical form around eye for a while.

Glaucoma- this occurs from application of topical Corticosteroids near your eye area.

Vomiting and Nausea – this occurs due to consumption of oral form of cortical steroids. Such effect can be reduced by consuming medicine with food.

Brittle bones: bone density loss, especially in women who are taking continuous treatment.

Skin effects –  includes increase in rashes, acne, stretch marks, infections, blood vessel dilatation is caused as a result of applying topical Corticosteroids.

The best way to adopt effective and safe eczema treatment is to apply Corticosteroids under the guidance of your physician to avoid further complications.

Corticosteroids Injection to treat baldness

Are you losing hair and extremely worried about getting bald. Well, you should stress yourself as there are many treatments that can help you get rid of stress related to hair loss. Doctors prescribe drugs. The treatment can be really stressing. You might also forget to take tablets on time or lose them somewhere and pay again to get new ones. You actually need a type of treatment that saves your time. Corticosteroids injections are among best treatments to treat baldness. You can get the injections and manage them after specific period rather than taking it every single day.

Corticosteroids injections are given on area on scalp which is affected by hair loss (baldness). That doesn’t mean that only scalp area can be treated. Even others areas like facial areas for example beard or eyebrows  can also are treated. The injections can also be used for children. The injections are given depending on the severity of one’s condition for say 4-6 weeks. It is also used treating different forms of baldness like areata and alopecia.

The treatment is absolutely safe and can be used along with other types of treatments for getting better results, which might last for a short time. Corticosteroids can also be used with topical creams. The combination of treatment helps enhance the hair follicles production. Hair growth increases and you get your hair back.

Well, good diet is not a baldness treatment, but you are asked to eat nutritious food during the baldness treatment. Treatment may be stopped if you are eating too much or on a dieting. It is better to stop taking fats. Fats get stored in the body. Fats also get stored around your blood vessels making blood vessels constrict. The blood helps delivering essential nutrients to the follicles of hair. Various nutrients have their own contribution like some aid cells production while others aid cell membrane cementing.

The blood is made of water so water becomes important in our body. So your body shouldn’t be dehydrated while undergoing corticosteroids treatment else it will not work for you. In last couple of years corticosteroids injections have become popular. People are finding the treatment useful as compared to other treatments available in the market. Hair growth is getting successful and people are happy to share their reviews online after undergoing the treatment.

Well, losing hair effects any individual emotionally as losing hair constantly can make one unhappy. Getting hair back can make you feel confident and happy. This will also help you improve your emotional health. Stress is another factor that leads to hair loss. So don’t be stressed to enjoy healthy hair and maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep yourself hydrated. These injections can help you get your hair back. Don’t ignore hair loss as it might result in baldness. There are some people who suffer from baldness as it is genetic, but again a healthy body means a lot for healthy hair. Do not stress yourself as Corticosteroids injections will work for you.

Balancing the risks and benefits of Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids drugs including hydrocortisone, cortisone and prednisone are helpful in treating various conditions like asthma, lupus and rashes. But these drugs also come with risk of severe side effects. Discussing with your doctor can help you avoid reduce the related side effects so that Corticosteroids treatment yields maximum benefits for you and outweigh the associated risks.

How Corticosteroids work for you?

Corticosteroids imitate the hormonal effects that are produced by our body naturally in adrenal glands, which settle on your kidneys.  When the doses of Corticosteroids are prescribed that normally increase than usual levels in your body Corticosteroids work to suppress inflammation. This helps reduce the symptoms or signs of inflammatory problems, like asthma and arthritis.

Corticosteroids also work towards suppressing your immune system, which in turn controls certain conditions where the immune system itself starts attacking its own tissues mistakenly.

How are Corticosteroids taken?

Orally- syrups, capsules and tablets help treat pain or inflammation related to chronic conditions like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

By intranasal spray or inhaler- Corticosteroids available in these forms control inflammation caused due to nasal allergies and asthma.

By injection – this form of Corticosteroids is used in treating joint and muscle symptoms or signs like inflammation and pain of tendinitis.

What are the side effects caused by Corticosteroids?

Corticosteroids bring risk of various side-effects, out of which some can lead to severe health problems. After knowing the possible side effects it will be easy for you to take necessary steps to control the impact of side-effects

Because of the fact that Corticosteroids not only affect a particular part of your body, but affects entire body, the mode of administration can lead to side effects. Side effects also depends on dose of Corticosteroids you are getting or also include

  • High blood pressure
  • Glaucoma
  • Problems related to behavior, mood or psychological effects
  • Weight accompanied by accumulation of fats in abdomen, back of the neck or face.

If you are taking oral Corticosteroids for a longer period you may face problems like

Cataracts, risk if increased infections, fractures or thinning of bones (osteoporosis) slower healing of wound, thin skin, bruising, suppressed hormone production in adrenal gland and  high blood sugar levels which can worsen diabetes or trigger diabetes.

Inhaled Corticosteroids- Side effects

If you are using inhaled Corticosteroids, some amount of drug may remain in your throat or mouth instead of going to the lungs. This can lead to

  • Hoarseness
  • Fungal infection caused in mouth (oral thrush)

If you gargle and use water to rinse mouth avoid swallowing after every puff of Corticosteroids inhaler, this way you can prevent throat or mouth irritation. Some researchers believe that there is slow growth in children if they are using Corticosteroids inhaler for asthma.

To avoid the risk of side effects associated with Corticosteroids try intermittent dosing or lower doses, if you are taking for a longer period, discuss with your doctor about how to reduce the risk of side effects and try to switch to Corticosteroids in nonoral forms.

Corticosteroids For Eczema Skin Symptoms

Eczema does not have a cure yet. All one can do about this skin condition is suppress the symptoms. These are the following symptoms of eczema: Itchiness, inflamed red marks on skin, thickening of affected areas, and scaling. These are the common symptoms that are most regularly seen in patients. As you read every word of this article, you will discover information on the different uses of Corticosteroids for eczema skin symptoms

Also, they do vary from patient to patient, as well as location on the body. The best way to treat eczema is to know what causes it and to stay away from triggers. For mild symptoms a simple lotion and compress will do the job of protecting the area and easing the itch. Once symptoms surpass being “mild” then you’ll need much more than that. Corticosteroid (steroid-based) creams or lotions may have to be used for really bad cases. These are very widely used, doctor prescribed or over-the-counter forms are available. Here is what corticosteroids are: It is close to a natural hormone that the body produces, crucial for reducing inflammation.

Corticosteroids as a form of treatment has been dated back as early as 1955 specifically for treating eczema, along with other inflammatory skin conditions. Corticosteroid Variations that are used to treat eczema come in different forms. Topical; which include foams, creams, lotions, and ointments. They are used to treat eczema skin inflammations that are ranging from light to moderate. Oral or injected corticosteroids may be prescribed by a doctor for intense cases. Keep in mind, consideration for this is taken very seriously and is used as a last resort. Pregnant women that have eczema should not use this.

It has been found that, its use can cause the fetus to develop cleft palate and/or cleft lip.

Corticosteroid Side Effect Potentials

There are many people that worry about using or over using this medication.

As long as the patient is working with a very knowledgeable doctor, who has prescribed it to other patients with successful outcomes, there is very little to worry about. But , just like with any drug, it is understandable to be concerned about side effects. Studies have found that side effects will vary and depend upon the potency and dosage of corticosteroid that is used. Patients should also take into account how it is taken; injected, orally, or topically. Other things like age, how long treatment has been administered, and where on the body the eczema skin symptoms resides will also determine specific side effects.

Actual Side Effects

High and prolonged dosages of topically applied corticosteroid near the eyes can have been known to cause cataract.

Topical use of corticosteroids around the eye (topically and systemically) can also cause glaucoma, in some instances

Oral ingestion of corticosteroids has also been found to cause the patient to get nauseated and vomiting may occur.

Taking food with the medication may lessen the impact of, or eliminate side effects.

Female patients that have prolonged exposure may also run the risk of osteoporosis, or decreased bone density.

Topical corticosteroids can also cause other skin conditions like; dilated blood vessels, infections, acne, stretch marks, and different kinds of rashes.

So as with ANY type of drug treatment, consult your doctor before use, this is absolutely crucial to success. His or her close supervision will help keep you safe and side effect free.

Oral Corticosteroids for COPD

COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a group of diseases that consist of chronic bronchitis, emphysema and asthmatic bronchitis. Oral corticosteroids tend to work best against COPD with an asthmatic component. Oral corticosteroid is a sufferer of COPD. Oral corticosteroids reduce irritation, swelling and mucus production. A physician may initiate a short trial in patients to determine if they respond to steroids. This trial lasts two to three weeks. If there is no immediate effect after continuous use of oral corticosteroids, this means that they have no value for the use of oral corticosteroids.

Corticosteroid tablet is used when the inflammation becomes severe. Oral corticosteroids have clinically significant effects on symptoms, exacerbations and health status. Oral corticosteroids inconsistently progress lung function in stable outpatients with COPD. In addition , there is a realistic proof for the use of systemic corticosteroids during acute exacerbations of COPD. Using oral corticosteroids for COPD patients decrease death rate and hospitalization.

Oral corticosteroids should be used carefully, to avoid excessive weight loss. Oral corticosteroid reduces the duration and impact of exacerbations. They improve the airflow and lung function, but there are increased side effects such as diabetes and osteoporosis. Low dose oral corticosteroid is often used in the treatment of acute exacerbations of COPD. Oral corticosteroids may be used when symptoms rapidly worsen (COPD exacerbation), especially when there is an increased mucus production.

Long term use of corticosteroids has many side effects such as water retention, bruising, puffy face, increased appetite, weight gain and stomach irritation. It may also impair bone metabolism. For an elderly population, the continuous use of oral corticosteroids for COPD has possible cardiac side effects. Recent studies notice that patients who show continuous use of oral corticosteroids for COPD may also suffer from acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Some proof suggests that patients with COPD who respond to corticosteroids have eosinophilic inflammation and other attributes of an asthma phenotype. Research on oral corticosteroids for COPD exacerbations reports improve lung function and reduced hospitalization. The incidence of treatment failure in the form of return to the hospital, death, or the need for a tube inserted through the mouth or nose and into the chest to deliver oxygen is also reduced.

Corticosteroids

  • Cortisone
  • Prednisone
  • Prednisolone
  • Dexamethasone
  • Methylprednisolone (Medrol, A-Methapred, Depo Medrol, Solu Medrol)
  • Triamcinolone (Allernaze, Aristospan 5 mg, Aristospan Injection 20 mg,Kenalog 10 Injection, Kenalog Nasacort AQ)

Side Effects of Corticosteroids

short-term and/or low-dose corticosteroid use results in few side effects. But taking corticosteroids long-term can result in severe side effects, including:

  • Adrenal insufficiency — a condition in which the body cannot adequately respond to physical stress
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Bone death
  • Cataracts and glaucoma
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Elevated blood sugar
  • Fluid retention
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Mood changes
  • Osteoporosis
  • Suppression of the immune system
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Weight gain
  • Damage to local tissues