Is It Possible to Take Steroids Safely?

Is It Possible to Take Steroids Safely?

The findings highlight how important it is for primary care clinicians to prescribe patients the minimal effective dose of steroids for the shortest duration of time. The answer to this question may well depend upon who you talk to. It’s undeniable that steroids have been used in a medical capacity for decades and in a less official performance-enhancing one for almost as long.

  • If you do need treatment for steroid-induced diabetes, your options may include injecting insulin, taking medication or making lifestyle changes, such as eating well and moving more.
  • We know that it is common to struggle with your mental health when you have cancer or care for someone with cancer.
  • For biopsies, this would be slightly increased to 4mg once daily.
  • But for others, steroid-induced diabetes can continue even after you’ve stopped your treatment.
  • You may get some of the side effects we mention, but you are unlikely to get all of them.

We have developed a patient safety leaflet to support patients and health care professionals, which includes advice on how to reduce the risk of severe reactions. Studies have shown that anabolic steroid use affects the body’s ability to handle sugar and can lead to type 2 diabetes. This can have a devastating health impact and further increase the risk of kidney damage, heart disease, strokes and blindness amongst other things. Testing of fasting blood sugar can help pick this up early before these complications start to arise.

Further information and support

If used as directed by your doctor, the risk of any absorption of TCS into your body is extremely low. It is completely acceptable to use TCS for prolonged periods as long as you know what strength to apply, how much and how frequently to apply the treatment and for how long. TCS are safe to use in pregnancy and breast feeding, and there is no age limit for their use. It’s important to seek medical advice before stopping or making any changes to your medication.

  • Don’t have immunisations with live vaccines while you’re having treatment and for up to 12 months afterwards.
  • That’s why regular health screening and blood testing is so important.
  • Your doctor might also give you a steroid warning card in other situations.
  • This does not mean that it is unsafe for children and young people to be prescribed such a medicine ‘off-licence/off-label’.
  • There are over 100 different kinds of the drug, each with its own properties and potential side effects.

If you’re feeling worried, or if you’ve got more questions about steroid-induced diabetes, we’re here to help. If you are looking for more information about taking steroids when you have diabetes, read our guidance on managing your diabetes when you’re unwell. Coming to terms with having diabetes can be difficult, especially if you are already living with another health condition.

> Treatment: Low Dose Steroids

As well as speaking to a medical professional about your use of steroids and monitoring your body’s reaction to them through blood tests, you should also consider post cycle therapy (PCT). When abused, anabolic steroids can cause baldness, erectile dysfunction, infertility, reduced sperm count, severe acne, shrunken testicles and excruciating stomach pain in men. If you need to take medication for diabetes with corticosteroids, your blood glucose levels will usually need to be checked more regularly. This is a card which lets healthcare professionals and emergency workers know you are prescribed a steroid and has the details of your medicine and dose.

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Having enough calcium and vitamin D is important, as steroids can increase calcium loss by the kidneys. It’s important for you and your doctor to discuss your bone health when you’re first prescribed a steroid, and to start treatment for osteoporosis as early as possible, if you need it. Overall, steroid medications can cause bone to break down faster than it is made. This can weaken bones and make you more at risk of osteoporosis and breaking a bone.

Changes in blood sugar levels

Don’t assume that new or worsened symptoms are a result of having ME/CFS. Your GP will have been sent a copy of your discharge summary, including the list of medication you were prescribed on discharge from hospital. They will continue to prescribe all your medication, so please ensure you inform them if you need any repeat prescriptions.

Find out more about long-term steroids and their side effects, and when you should be referred to a respiratory specialist. Please read this information sheet from GOSH alongside the patient information leaflet (PIL) provided by the manufacturer. If you do not have a copy of the manufacturer’s patient information leaflet please talk to your pharmacist.

Mood and behaviour changes

Your GP will work out how much you need to take, and for how long, depending on your symptoms and how you’re recovering. By current estimates, between 400,000 and one million people in the UK use IPEDs. The majority are men in their early 20s, but men and women of all ages use them. In recent years, social media and reality television have influenced more people to try to sculpt the perfect body.

They’re often used to treat flare-ups in women who are pregnant. If you’re using a steroid cream it’s fine to have vaccinations, but you’ll need to tell the person giving you the injection to avoid the area being treated with the cream. Steroids can weaken bones, which can lead to a condition known as osteoporosis.

You have regular blood tests to check for any changes in the way your liver is working. Tell your doctor or nurse if you have headaches, nosebleeds, blurred or double vision or shortness of breath. They check your levels of blood cells and other substances in the blood.