What to know about corticosteroids c gastritis

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Corticosteroids can be used in conjunction with other drugs and are prescribed for short-term and long-term use. Prednisone (brand names Cortan, Deltasone, Liquid Pred, Meticorten, Orasone, Panasol-S, Prednicen-M, and Sterapred) is the most commonly prescribed synthetic corticosteroid for arthritis. It is four to five times as potent as cortisol. Therefore, five milligrams of prednisone is equivalent to the body’s daily output of cortisol. There are other synthetic corticosteroids available which differ in potency and half-life.

A steroid shot, also referred to as a cortisone shot, corticosteroid injection, or intra-articular therapy is an injection of a steroid directly into the affected joint. This method allows doctors to use high doses of corticosteroid directly at the site of inflammation. Since it is localized, the rest of the body is spared the high concentration of the drug.

Infection at the site of injection is a possible side effect. Frequent injections into the same joint may also cause cartilage damage. Doctors use this treatment sparingly, after other options have failed, and attempt to limit the number of injections to once every few months and few in total for a particular joint. Side Effects

Side effects can be minimized by following doctor’s orders and taking the lowest effective dose possible. It is also important to avoid self-regulation of the dose, either by adding more or stopping the medication without a schedule. Short-Term vs. Long-Term Therapy

When used as a short-term treatment, prednisone is usually prescribed at a moderate dose and reduced or "tapered" over a one- or two-week period. The purpose is to achieve a sudden improvement in symptoms, but not prolong the duration of corticosteroid use.

High-dose steroids are given occasionally for the most rare, most severe cases of inflammatory disease. A high dose is considered daily doses of prednisone at one milligram per kilogram of body weight or approximately 60 milligrams a day given in divided doses. In such cases, the steroids are "tapered" as soon as possible.

The dose of corticosteroids must be gradually reduced in order for the adrenal glands to resume natural cortisol production. Eliminating doses too quickly can result in adrenal crisis (a life-threatening state caused by insufficient levels of cortisol) although this is rare.

In cases where corticosteroids were taken in low doses for long periods of time, tapering can continue for months or years. Sometimes, doses are lowered by just one milligram per periodic interval to prevent flare-ups. When steroids are taken for shorter periods of time, tapering is more rapid and decreases in dosage can be larger.

Another possible complication associated with discontinuation of steroids is steroid withdrawal syndrome, or rebound effect, which is the body’s exaggerated response to removal of the drug. Rebound effect can result in fever, muscle pain, and joint pain, making it hard for the physician to differentiate between withdrawal symptoms and a flare of the disease itself. Dosing

Corticosteroids are powerful drugs which can improve symptoms and provoke incredible results. There are potential consequences associated with their use that should not be ignored, however. The power of corticosteroids should not be feared, but must be respected.