What is Corticosteroids?


DEFINE – What does Corticosteroids mean?

Corticosteroids are medications given orally or via injection to reduce swelling, such as that in a sport injury, or irritation, such as that in asthmatic conditions.  

BREAKING DOWN – Corticosteroids 

Corticosteroids are primarily used for their anti-inflammatory effects. They are often helpful when it comes to treating arthritic conditions, MS, colitis, asthma, allergic reactions, and other inflammatory conditions and disorders. 

Essentially, these medications are mimicking similar effects to steroids created by the adrenal glands. Side effects are rare when on the medication for a short period of time or when given a single injection dosage. However, they can become common in long-term use. They may cause edema, high blood pressure, swelling, headaches, muscle weakness, skin bruising, and more. Psychotic behaviours have also been reported in rare incidences of long-term use. It may further disrupt the regular function of the adrenal glands. It’s, thus, best to use these types of medications in the short-term while a long-term solution is being sought out for your condition. 

Depending on your health and other medications you are on, they may also react with other drugs or conditions. Fortunately, corticosteroids are often provided on a prescription only basis. This means they are regulated under doctors’ orders and are frequently monitored closely.  

Yet, in the short-term, these medications may provide relief for some sports injuries and conditions, as well as other musculoskeletal issues.  

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