Things to Know About Corticosteroids
A potential side effect of corticosteroids is ____________ which can lead to osteoporosis.
Hello, I'm Dr. Robert Fenell, founder of HandAndFootClinicsOfAmerica.com, and I'm here today on behalf of About.com to talk to you about what you need to be aware of when you're taking corticosteroids.Corticosteroids can be a patient's best friend when it comes to alleviating the symptoms, inflammation and swelling associated with their inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and other conditions that affect the body. However, on the flip side, it can also cause some serious side effects and potential health risks. Having a great understanding of the side effects of the corticosteroid medication you're on is a good idea. Be certain to discuss with your primary care doctor about the possible side effects of your medication.There are many different types of corticosteroids on the market today, and they act in different ways, and they are administered through the body in different ways. Generally speaking, corticosteroids are absorbed very well into the tissues of the body. And as a result, doctors will usually prescribe them in moderate doses, or have close supervision of the patient, when they are on prescription corticosteroid medication.Some of the side effects associated with taking prescription corticosteroid medications include: blurred vision; glaucoma or increased pressure in the eye; cataracts; high blood pressure; upper respiratory conditions including: sore throat, coughing or hoarseness; changes in appetite; weight gain; irritability or mood swings; bone loss, potentially leading to osteoporosis; bruising and reduced healing potential of the skin; fluid retention or swelling in the legs; and there are many more potential side effects that could be related to corticosteroid medications.Another side effect to taking corticosteroid medications, especially if the patient was on them for an extended period of time, or at high doses, is withdrawal side effects. You see, the body produces cortisol naturally in the adrenal glands. When a patient takes the synthetic version, corticosteroids, the production naturally reduces. So when the doctor discontinues their dosage, many times there are withdrawal symptoms because the patient's body is not producing adequate amounts of cortisol. Be certain to talk to your doctor about the possibility of withdrawal side effects before discontinuing your prescription.I'd like to thank you for watching this video today. If you would like to learn more or find more information, visit us online at About.com.