NHS England » COVID-19 therapy: corticosteroids including dexamethasone and hydrocortisone
It’s important to seek medical advice before stopping or making any changes to your medication. Usually, you need to stop taking them gradually in order to reduce the risk of adrenal crisis, which can be serious. Steroids can increase your blood pressure (hypertension), which can lead to headaches and dizziness.
This can lead to life-threatening complications or flare-ups in their condition. Anyone concerned with taking this medication should speak to their doctor. If your skin condition gets worse or does not get better, it is important that you return to your doctor for advice.
Raised blood sugar levels
Redness can be a spectrum of pink, to purple, which may show as darkening of the normal skin tone and can vary depending on the skin tone of the individual. Other signs include burning or stinging, intense itching, peeling of the skin, or oozing open sores. In patients who have received more than physiological dose for systemic corticosteroids (approximately 7.5mg prednisolone or equivalent) for greater than 3 weeks, withdrawal should not be abrupt. How dose reduction should be carried out depends largely on whether the disease is likely to relapse as the dose of systemic corticosteroids is reduced.
- Age can also be a factor with young children and older people more commonly experiencing side effects.
- Subsequent blood sampling was completed at fixed time-points until 10 hours post-dose.
- This is why it is important that you don’t treat a new body area with your topical corticosteroid unless your doctor has told you to do so.
- You might also be interested in our information about communicating with the people around you, which includes tips to help you let others know how you’re feeling.
- If you’ve taken steroid tablets for more than a few days, they can cause side effects known as withdrawal symptoms if you stop suddenly.
Let your healthcare team know if you notice any changes in your emotional or psychological wellbeing. Also let them know if you or any family members have ever had depression or manic depression (bipolar disorder). Your healthcare team may give you a small card to carry with you while you are taking steroids.
Will I have side effects from steroids?
May increase AUC and reduce clearance in oral contraceptives containing ethinylestradiol, mestranol, desogestrel, levonorgestrel, norgestrel or norethisterone. Oral contraceptives increased prednisolone concentrations by 131%. Where a reduced response during concurrent use is noted, dosage adjustment of isoniazid may be necessary. There is an increased risk of nuclear cataracts (see section 4.8).
Your dose of diabetes medication may then need to be adjusted. Anticoagulant medicines are medications that make the blood less sticky. They’re often prescribed to people with a history of blood clots or an increased risk of developing them.
Safety precautions while you are taking steroids
Steroids are usually only given for a short time to quickly treat flare-ups of your condition. Depending on which condition you have and what dose you’re prescribed, you may notice an improvement in your symptoms within a few days. If you need to take medication for diabetes with corticosteroids, your blood glucose levels will usually need to be checked more regularly.
There is evidence that steroid drugs may come through into your breast milk. You can make a decision together based on the benefits to you and the possible risks to your baby. Talk to your doctor or nurse about effective contraception before starting your cancer treatment. Let them know straight away if you or your partner falls pregnant while having treatment.
But if you’re taking high doses for a long time, you may be at risk of some of the same side effects as steroid tablets. If you’re taking a long course of steroid tablets, ask your doctor or specialist for a referral to a specialist. This is so specialists can work out if treatments called biologics are suitable for you. You’ll need to keep taking the steroids while you’re waiting to be considered for biologics.
Steroid emergency card
The growth and development of infants and children should be closely monitored. Treatment should be administered where possible as a single dose myfitnessandmuscle on alternate days. In addition, acute adrenal insufficiency leading to a fatal outcome may occur if glucocorticoids are withdrawn abruptly.
Are there any possible side effects?
If you do come into contact with someone who has them, tell your healthcare team straight away. Keep away from people who have chicken pox or shingles whilst taking steroids if you have never had these illnesses. Symptoms of an infection include a change in temperature, aching muscles, headaches, feeling cold and shivery and generally unwell. You might have other symptoms depending on where the infection is.
Your healthcare professional will make sure you are on the lowest possible dose needed to treat your condition and keep you well. This will help to keep the risk of side effects, including weaker bones, as low as possible. Most glucocorticoid prescriptions (96%) were for prednisolone.