Corticosteroids are among the most widely prescribed drug classes globally. The corticosteroid market is projected to be worth more than USD 10 billion annually. Corticosteroids, which include glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids, are synthetic analogs of the natural steroid hormones produced by the adrenal cortex. Glucocorticoids are predominantly influence cellular metabolism and have immunosuppressive, anti-inflammatory, and vasoconstrictive effects, whereas mineralocorticoids regulate electrolytes and water balance by affecting ion transport in the epithelial cells of the renal tubules. 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, ulcerative colitis, giant cell arteritis and polymyalgia rheumatica and 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. However, long-term use of corticosteroids leads to serious and disabling toxic effects. Few of them are listed here: elevated ocular pressure (glaucoma), cataracts formation, round face (moon face), high blood sugar (can trigger or worsen diabetes), increased risk of microbial infections, thinning of bones (osteoporosis), suppression of hormone production by the adrenals (that can result in severe fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, and muscle weakness, thinning of skin, bruising and slower wound healing). The most effective way to combat toxic situations is to withdraw the medication, and provide supportive care with adequate medical consultation.
Adverse effect, Clinical management, Corticosteroids, Glucocorticoids, Therapeutic uses, Toxicity
Medicine and Health Sciences
Padda, Inderbir and Parmar, Mayur S., "Corticosteroids" (2022). HPD Books and Book Chapters. 2.
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