steroid use for medical purposes

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Miami's independent source of local news and culture. Athletes and bodybuilders have been using steroids to increase muscle mass for a long time. Many men, particularly those who participate in sports or who are interested in bodybuilding, use steroids to achieve quick results. Many steroids are sold illegally and come with a slew of negative side effects. So, what are some other safe and legitimate alternatives to steroid abuse? Are you trying to bulk up or lose weight with a legal steroid? Researchers have recently created safe, and legal steroids that can be used daily with no negative side effects.

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Steroid use for medical purposes

Learn about the symptoms, causes and treatment. Steroids can be taken in a number of ways for many different types of arthritis and related conditions, as shown in the table below. Steroids are usually only given for a short time to quickly treat flare-ups of your condition. This page is about steroids that can be taken as tablets, liquids, creams and eye drops and ointments. Information about steroid injections is covered on a different page.

You might not be able to start steroids if you have an infection, or if you have any wounds on your body, as steroids might delay these getting better or cover up some of your symptoms. Steroids might affect some medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart or blood pressure problems, or mental health issues. If you have systemic sclerosis , prednisolone could cause problems with your kidneys at certain doses, so you might not be able to take this type of steroid.

Some other skin problems, such as rosacea, acne and ulcers, can be made worse by steroid creams so you might not be able to take them if you have any of these conditions. If you normally wear contact lenses, you might need to avoid wearing these while having treatment with steroid eye drops. Steroids are taken in different ways, and the dosage may vary depending on the condition you have.

The table below gives an idea of how often you might need to take steroids. You will be given the lowest possible dose for the shortest possible time, to reduce the risk of side effects. Your dose will probably be reduced gradually as your symptoms improve, or your doctor might suggest a weaker medication. As with all medicines, some people will have side effects. You might also be given a drug called a proton pump inhibitor or another medicine to protect your stomach.

Treatment with steroids may cause changes in mood — you may feel very high or very low. This may be more common in people with a previous history of mood disturbance. Taking steroid tablets for a long time can make you more likely to get infections.

See your doctor or the person treating you straight away if you develop chickenpox, shingles or measles, or if you come into contact with someone who has any of these illnesses. Sometimes these diseases can be severe in people who are taking steroids, and you might need to have other treatment before you start to get better. Steroids taken for a long time can also cause your muscles to become weaker, and they might occasionally affect periods in women.

If you're taking high doses of steroids, or if you're on them for more than three weeks, you'll need to carry a steroid card. This will have information on your dose and how long you've been taking them for. Your doctor, rheumatology nurse or pharmacist should give you a steroid card if you need one.

Make sure any change to your dose of steroid is updated on the card. Steroid treatment can stop the body producing natural hormones, which can be dangerous if you get ill, have an accident or need an operation. Keeping the card with you will help any other doctor who treats you to manage your care correctly. If you have any questions or concerns about this, talk to the healthcare professional who prescribed your steroids. The person treating you might change the dose of your medications if needed.

Steroids can affect the eyes, for example by making glaucoma worse or causing cataracts. They can also cause a problem with your eyes known as serous chorioretinopathy see-russ core-ee-oh-ret-in-op-ath-ee , which happens when fluid collects in part of the eye.

If you notice any changes in your eyesight, such as your vision becoming blurry, be sure to let your doctor know as soon as possible. This can cause thinning of the skin, stretch marks, and the face to become rounder, but it usually clears up once steroids are stopped.

If growth is slowed, they might be referred to a specialist doctor for advice. Making sensible food choices and including some physical activity in your daily routine should help you avoid putting on weight.

Steroids can weaken bones, which can lead to a condition known as osteoporosis. Your doctor may advise you to take drugs called bisphosphonates , or calcium and vitamin D supplements , along with the steroids to help prevent this. Regular exercise , especially things that involve your bones carrying the weight of your body, such as walking, can also help to reduce the risk of getting osteoporosis.

You should also make sure you get enough calcium in your diet , and avoid smoking and drinking too much alcohol. Steroids can be taken along with other drugs. Both alcohol and steroid tablets could upset your stomach. If you have indigestion or other stomach problems after starting steroids, then alcohol is likely to add to the problem, so you may want to cut back on how much alcohol you drink.

Steroids, also called corticosteroids, are anti-inflammatory medicines used to treat a range of conditions. They're different from anabolic steroids , which are often used illegally by some people to increase their muscle mass. Most steroids are only available on prescription, but a few such as some creams or nasal sprays can be bought from pharmacies and shops.

Steroids do not tend to cause significant side effects if they're taken for a short time or at a low dose. But sometimes they can cause unpleasant side effects, such as an increased appetite, mood changes and difficulty sleeping. This is most common with steroid tablets. The side effects will usually pass once you finish the treatment, but do not stop taking your medicine without speaking to your doctor. Stopping a prescribed course of medicine can cause further unpleasant side effects withdrawal symptoms.

You can report any suspected side effect to the Yellow Card Scheme. Steroids are a man-made version of hormones normally produced by the adrenal glands which are 2 small glands found above the kidneys.

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Corticosteroids are generally safe to use during pregnancy. However, they're not usually recommended unless the potential benefits outweigh the risks. For example, steroid tablets may be recommended if you're pregnant and have severe asthma , because the risk to your baby from uncontrolled asthma is higher than from the medication. There is no evidence that using a steroid inhaler during pregnancy increases the risk of problems such as birth defects, so you can usually continue to use this as normal while you're pregnant.

If a woman needs to take steroid tablets while she is breastfeeding, a type called prednisolone is usually recommended, because it is thought to have the least chance of causing the baby any adverse effects. As a precaution, it's usually recommended that a breastfeeding mother waits three to four hours after taking a tablet before feeding her baby. Steroid injections, inhalers and sprays are not thought to pose a risk to babies being breastfed.

Corticosteroids can interact with other medicines, and the effects of either medicine can be altered as a result. There is less chance of this happening with steroid injections or sprays, although it can occasionally happen if they're used at high doses and for a long time. Some of the more common interactions are listed below, but this is not a complete list.

If you want to check your medicines are safe to take with corticosteroids, ask your GP or pharmacist, or read the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine. Anticoagulant medicines are medications that make the blood less sticky. They are often prescribed to people with a history of blood clots or an increased risk of developing them. Combining corticosteroids with anticoagulant medicines can sometimes make anticoagulants less effective.

Alternatively, it can increase their blood-thinning effect, which can cause bleeding inside the digestive system. Anticonvulsants are medicines used to prevent seizures fits and are often used to treat epilepsy , but they can reduce the effectiveness of corticosteroids. Depending on how frequent and severe your seizures are and the condition the steroids are being used to treat, you may be advised to temporarily stop taking anticonvulsants. Corticosteroids can decrease the effectiveness of medications used to treat diabetes.

If you need to take both of these medications, your blood glucose levels will usually be checked more regularly and your dose of diabetes medication may need to be adjusted. Corticosteroids, including steroid inhalers, can sometimes interact with a type of medication known as protease inhibitors such as ritonavir used to treat HIV. The HIV medication may increase the level of corticosteroid in your body, which might increase your risk of experiencing side effects.

Some vaccinations contain a weakened form of the infection they are designed to protect against. These are known as live vaccines. Examples of live vaccines include:. As corticosteroids can weaken your immune system and make you more vulnerable to infection, you should avoid any live vaccine until at least three months after your course of corticosteroids has finished.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs NSAIDs are a group of commonly used painkillers, such as ibuprofen , that are available over the counter at pharmacists. Combining NSAIDs and corticosteroids can increase your risk of developing stomach ulcers and internal bleeding.

If you need to take both medications, you may be given an additional medication called a proton pump inhibitor PPI to reduce the risk of stomach ulcers. Some of the main side effects are listed below, but this is not a complete list. To learn about all the possible side effects of your medication, read the patient information leaflet that comes with it.

Inhaled steroids usually have few or no side effects if used at normal doses. However, they can sometimes cause:. Rinsing your mouth out with water after using your medication can help to prevent oral thrush, and using a device called a spacer with your medication can help to prevent many of the other problems.

There is also some evidence that steroid inhalers used by people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD can increase the risk of chest infections such as pneumonia. Inhaled steroids at high doses can sometimes cause some of the more serious side effects that are more often linked with steroid tablets see below , but this is rare. Steroids that are injected into muscles and joints may cause some pain and swelling at the site of the injection.

However, this should pass within a few days. Steroid injections can also cause muscle or tendon weakness, so you may be advised to rest the treated area for a few days after the injection. Other possible side effects can include infections, blushing, and thinning and lightening of the skin in the area where the injection is given.

Because of the risk of side effects, steroid injections are often only given at intervals of at least 6 weeks and a maximum of 3 injections into one area is usually recommended. Steroids that are injected into a blood vessel intravenous steroids may sometimes cause some of the more widespread side effects described below.

Short, occasional courses of steroid tablets taken for no longer than three weeks are very unlikely to cause troublesome side effects. Most side effects should improve if you're able to reduce your dosage or eventually stop taking the medication. You may have regular checks and tests for conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and glaucoma if you need to take steroid tablets on a long-term basis.

Home Tests and treatments Medicines and medical aids Types of medicine Corticosteroids. Corticosteroids See all parts of this guide Hide guide parts 1. Introduction 2. Who can use them 3. Medicines that interact with them 4. Side effects. Introduction Corticosteroids, often known as steroids, are an anti-inflammatory medicine prescribed for a wide range of conditions. Corticosteroids are available in different forms, including: tablets oral steroids injections — which can be into blood vessels, joints or muscles inhalers — such as mouth or nasal sprays lotions, gels or creams topical steroids What are corticosteroids used for?

Corticosteroids are mainly used to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system. They are used to treat conditions such as: asthma allergic rhinitis and hay fever urticaria hives atopic eczema chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD painful and inflamed joints, muscles and tendons lupus inflammatory bowel disease IBD — including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis giant cell arteritis and polymyalgia rheumatica multiple sclerosis MS Corticosteroids can also be used to replace certain hormones that are not being produced by the body naturally — for example, in people with Addison's disease.

Possible side effects Corticosteroids will only be prescribed if the potential benefits of treatment outweigh the risks. Potential side effects of long-term treatment include: increased appetite — potentially leading to weight gain acne thinned skin that bruises easily increased risk of infections mood changes, mood swings and depression diabetes high blood pressure osteoporosis weak and brittle bones withdrawal symptoms caused by suppression of the adrenal glands If you have troublesome side effects after taking corticosteroids, don't stop taking your medication until your doctor says it's safe to do so, because of the possibility of these unpleasant withdrawal effects.

Cautions and interactions For most people, including pregnant or breastfeeding women, steroid inhalers and injections are safe. Steroids can be used to reduce this immune reaction. It causes joint pain and inflammation. Learn about the symptoms, causes and treatment. Steroids can be taken in a number of ways for many different types of arthritis and related conditions, as shown in the table below. Steroids are usually only given for a short time to quickly treat flare-ups of your condition.

This page is about steroids that can be taken as tablets, liquids, creams and eye drops and ointments. Information about steroid injections is covered on a different page. You might not be able to start steroids if you have an infection, or if you have any wounds on your body, as steroids might delay these getting better or cover up some of your symptoms.

Steroids might affect some medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart or blood pressure problems, or mental health issues. If you have systemic sclerosis , prednisolone could cause problems with your kidneys at certain doses, so you might not be able to take this type of steroid. Some other skin problems, such as rosacea, acne and ulcers, can be made worse by steroid creams so you might not be able to take them if you have any of these conditions. If you normally wear contact lenses, you might need to avoid wearing these while having treatment with steroid eye drops.

Steroids are taken in different ways, and the dosage may vary depending on the condition you have. The table below gives an idea of how often you might need to take steroids. You will be given the lowest possible dose for the shortest possible time, to reduce the risk of side effects.

Your dose will probably be reduced gradually as your symptoms improve, or your doctor might suggest a weaker medication. As with all medicines, some people will have side effects. You might also be given a drug called a proton pump inhibitor or another medicine to protect your stomach.

Treatment with steroids may cause changes in mood — you may feel very high or very low. This may be more common in people with a previous history of mood disturbance. Taking steroid tablets for a long time can make you more likely to get infections. See your doctor or the person treating you straight away if you develop chickenpox, shingles or measles, or if you come into contact with someone who has any of these illnesses. Sometimes these diseases can be severe in people who are taking steroids, and you might need to have other treatment before you start to get better.

Steroids taken for a long time can also cause your muscles to become weaker, and they might occasionally affect periods in women. If you're taking high doses of steroids, or if you're on them for more than three weeks, you'll need to carry a steroid card.

This will have information on your dose and how long you've been taking them for. Your doctor, rheumatology nurse or pharmacist should give you a steroid card if you need one. Make sure any change to your dose of steroid is updated on the card. Steroid treatment can stop the body producing natural hormones, which can be dangerous if you get ill, have an accident or need an operation.

Keeping the card with you will help any other doctor who treats you to manage your care correctly. If you have any questions or concerns about this, talk to the healthcare professional who prescribed your steroids. The person treating you might change the dose of your medications if needed. Steroids can affect the eyes, for example by making glaucoma worse or causing cataracts. They can also cause a problem with your eyes known as serous chorioretinopathy see-russ core-ee-oh-ret-in-op-ath-ee , which happens when fluid collects in part of the eye.

If you notice any changes in your eyesight, such as your vision becoming blurry, be sure to let your doctor know as soon as possible. This can cause thinning of the skin, stretch marks, and the face to become rounder, but it usually clears up once steroids are stopped.

If growth is slowed, they might be referred to a specialist doctor for advice. Making sensible food choices and including some physical activity in your daily routine should help you avoid putting on weight. Steroids can weaken bones, which can lead to a condition known as osteoporosis. Your doctor may advise you to take drugs called bisphosphonates , or calcium and vitamin D supplements , along with the steroids to help prevent this.

Regular exercise , especially things that involve your bones carrying the weight of your body, such as walking, can also help to reduce the risk of getting osteoporosis. You should also make sure you get enough calcium in your diet , and avoid smoking and drinking too much alcohol.

Steroids can be taken along with other drugs.

Consider, that information on steroids the excellent

The original use of steroids arose in the medical field. Many men have their testes removed due to the presence of testicular cancer. Or, they may have their prostate removed due to prostate cancer. In order to maintain their sexual performance abilities, they are prescribed steroids. Testosterone supplementation is also popular with aging men. Many patients with wasting diseases die not from their disease, but from related diseases like pneumonia that arise when the body is in a weakened state.

AIDS sufferers are almost always bone-skinny. The use of anabolic steroids allows these people to live longer, and live better as well. While this topic will not interest most, there are tens of thousands of people out there who do change their original gender. Steroids are used for these purposes, whether it is to boost testosterone or estrogen levels.

Oral steroids are often given to users suffering from short-term illnesses, as well as for those inflicted with illnesses like untreatable cancer, where long-term effects of the steroid use are not a concern. Injectable hormones such as testosterone are preferable for long-term use in patients. Testosterone supplementation Many men have their testes removed due to the presence of testicular cancer. See, Play and Learn Images.

Research Clinical Trials Journal Articles. Resources No links available. You may need to take corticosteroids to treat Arthritis Asthma Autoimmune diseases such as lupus and multiple sclerosis Skin conditions such as eczema and rashes Some kinds of cancer Steroids are strong medicines, and they can have side effects, including weakened bones and cataracts.

Start Here. Related Issues. Prednisone Johns Hopkins Vasculitis Center. Clinical Trials. Article: Efficacy and safety of tacrolimus monotherapy versus cyclophosphamide-corticosteroid combination therapy for Article: Low dose dexamethasone as treatment for women with heavy menstrual bleeding Article: Possible effects of agent orange and posttraumatic stress disorder on hyperglycemia Steroids -- see more articles.