Corticosteroids: early psychiatric side-effects

Corticosteroids: early psychiatric side-effects

Keeping the card with you will help any other doctor who treats you to manage your care correctly. It’s important that you don’t stop taking steroids without speaking to the person treating you first. You should always take medication as prescribed by the person treating you. Steroids are taken in different ways, and the dosage may vary depending on the condition you have.

  • Prednisolone side effects become more likely with higher doses and longer treatment, particularly if you take prednisolone for more than three weeks.
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  • If your child is sick again, seek advice from your family doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or hospital.
  • You’ll usually be given anti-acid medicine with the steroids to prevent this, but let your doctor know if you develop these symptoms.
  • This leaflet is for parents and carers about how to use this medicine in children.

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This can increase your hunger levels, leading you to eat more and to gain weight. If your metabolism slows down, you might gain weight, even if your appetite doesn’t increase. Be aware of any signs of infection and seek medical advice straightaway if you notice any. It is also possible that a topical steroid could irritate your skin or cause an allergic reaction.

  • If you experience adrenal crisis, it is important that you do not stop taking steroid medication suddenly – withdrawal symptoms can be severe.
  • Your cancer doctor or nurse can explain the risk of these side effects to you.
  • There’s some evidence that steroid inhalers used by people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can increase the risk of chest infections like pneumonia.
  • They can also make your skin more oily, which can cause spots (acne) – this is more common on the face, back and chest, and in younger people.
  • If your side effects are severe, they might lower your dose of steroids.

If you are unable to contact your MS team, you may need to bring this to the attention of any health professional who offers you steroid treatment. Some MS services produce a card with details of the recommended treatment for a relapse that you can show other health professionals. Some of the more common side effects of long-term steroid administration are listed in Table 2.

Common conditions

Steroids can sometimes be used to treat other medical and lung conditions too. In a very few cases, children become very unwell when they stop or reduce the amount of any steroid medicine they are taking, including prednisolone (in high doses). Although it is best not to take steroids during pregnancy, it is safer than many drugs and the benefit of treatment may outweigh the risks. Prednisolone appears in small amounts in breast milk but maternal doses of up to 40mg daily are unlikely to affect the infant.

Will I have side effects from steroids?

They will decide what to do based on your child’s condition and the specific medicine involved. After a few weeks, the protein in the urine (seen on a urine dipstick test) and any swelling will have gone. However, your child should not stop taking the medicine, as continuing the treatment will reduce the chance that their symptoms will come back.

This depends on what conditions you have and how long you need to take prednisolone for. 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. Your child needs to be closely monitored while on steroid treatment, which may include checking their weight, blood pressure and urine.

If you have any of these conditions, the person treating you will need to make sure the steroids aren’t making the condition worse. Steroids affect your child’s immune system, so they shouldn’t have any ‘live’ vaccines if they’re receiving a high dose of injected or oral steroids. But it’s important they’re up to date with other vaccines beforehand to avoid catching one of the diseases that vaccination prevents. There’s some evidence that steroid inhalers used by people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can increase the risk of chest infections like pneumonia.

What monitoring might I need while taking prednisolone?

This helps prevent irritation to the stomach lining, which can cause stomach ulcers. During the hyper-active periods, people can be more prone to making impulsive and rash decisions. If you’re worried about your behaviour, or that of a relative, talk to your health team. Some people find it difficult to sleep when they’re taking steroids.

If you are prescribed a course of oral steroids you should complete the course or seek advice from your doctor or asthma nurse if you have any side effects. Steroids regulate emotions such as excitement and nervousness. Some people feel happier than usual while others feel low in mood, short-tempered and irritable. Some people feel low or flat for several days to weeks after they stop taking steroids, as it takes a while for your body to begin making its own steroids naturally again.