Taking steroid tablets for severe asthma

An immunosuppressant which works by reducing the function of
lymphocytes (a type of white cell). In the long term it can cause
chronic damage to the kidneys and this should be carefully monitored. In
high doses it can cause reversible problems to the kidney or liver
function and cause paraesthesia (tingling in hands and feet), fatigue
and headache.

  • You will need to take five tablets a day for five days in a row.
  • If you have troublesome side effects, don’t stop taking your medication until your doctor says it’s safe to do so.
  • They’ll be able to explain the benefits and risks of giving your child prednisolone.
  • There are over 100 different kinds of the drug, each with its own properties and potential side effects.

They are used by bodybuilders and athletes to enhance performance and build up muscle. Anabolic steroids are synthetically produced drugs that mimic the effects of natural testosterone. They are sometimes used very occasionally to stimulate muscle regrowth after surgery or as part of  treatment for an unusual type of anaemia.

What are the side-effects of steroids?

Steroids suppress the immune system and reduce inflammation around the site of nerve damage. To prevent the effects of long-term treatment, many MS teams will therefore give you no more than three courses of steroids in one year. The NICE MS Guideline also recommends that steroids should be started as early as possible and within 14 days of the onset of relapse symptoms.

If you notice you’re thirsty, or need to urinate more than usual, tell your doctor. If you’re taking steroids on prescription, your doctor will likely taper your dose when it’s time to come off them to minimise the possibility of any adverse reactions. When used off prescription in much higher doses, anabolic steroids pose significantly increased risks of withdrawal symptoms when stopped.

Difficult to control asthma

Stopping a prescribed course of medicine can cause further unpleasant side effects (withdrawal symptoms). They’ll be able to explain the benefits and risks of giving your child prednisolone. Your child’s doctor will monitor their height and weight carefully for as long as they’re taking this medicine.

The steroids used to treat asthma are known as corticosteroids. These are not the same as the steroids that some bodybuilders use, which are called anabolic steroids. Before starting steroids, it is important that your MS team or GP check for signs of an infection, which should include a test for a urinary tract infection. If you are unwell, for example if you have a cold, a bladder infection or a stomach bug, you will often find that your MS symptoms get worse.

Do steroids make you fat?

They might refer you to a specialist addiction service or a trained drugs counsellor. These services will also be able to help with advice on weaning yourself off the steroids. You might be prescribed anabolic steroids for certain medical conditions. If a clinician has prescribed you anabolic steroids, they will be safe for you to take – provided you use them as directed.

If you need more than two courses of steroid tablets in a year, or you’re taking them all the time, you should be under the care of a specialist and be assessed for other treatments such as biologics. If you have low bone density, you should have blood tests to check your levels of vitamin D and calcium and may be prescribed medicines called bisphosphonates. As well as vitamin supplements, there may be some lifestyle changes you can make too, to help keep your bones strong. The steroids used in steroid tablets to treat asthma are called corticosteroids.

Long term abuse of steroids may lead to more serious health conditions such as heart and liver disease, kidney problems and damage to the reproductive system. Anyone thinking about using anabolic steroids should first consider all the possible side effects. Long term or continuous courses of steroid tablets can affect the way the body controls blood sugar levels. If your blood sugars stay raised, this could lead to ‘steroid-induced diabetes .’ Your doctor should arrange blood tests to check your blood sugar levels.

A major side effect of long term prednisolone use is osteoporosis. Bisphosphonates may be prescribed to strengthen bones and help prevent
osteoporosis. mremotorsport Side effects from oral bisphosphonates are usually mild
but include nausea, dyspepsia, diarrhoea or constipation and headaches.