Corticosteroids: Uses, Side effects, Types

Corticosteroids are one of the most widely used UK steroids in medical fields. These drugs are different than the one used by athletes and body builders. In this article we will look about the uses, risks, and types of corticosteroids in various forms and its potential benefits.


There are wide range of uses of this drug, such as they are treated for reduction of inflammation caused and to maintain the hormonal balance in the body.

Corticosteroids used under certain medical conditions such as: –

  • Hives.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS).
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.

Types and drug list

Corticosteroids was most prominently used in united states, now it is available in almost every country, which has a good profitable market in medical industries. Some of its generic forms are: –

• Hydrocortisone.

• Betamethasone.

• Prednisone.

• Cortisone.

• Dexamethasone.

• Prednisone.

• Methylprednisolone.

Corticosteroids comes in various form: –

The doctor or physician will prescribe depending upon the problems in the body.

Side effects

Some long-term side effects are: –

  •  Liver damage.
  •  Osteoporosis.
  •  Cataract.
  •  Glaucoma.
  •  Diabetes.
  •  Acne.
  •  Mood disorders, such as depression.
  •  Weight gain.

Long term use of corticosteroids can hinder the producing of cortisol from adrenal gland. However, if the usage is stopped the natural cortisol production may start.

Short term use of corticosteroids can still cause minor side effects such as change in sleep, mood, and appetite. But short-term use can also cause severe side effects, in worst case scenario it may lead to blood clot, bone fractures and many more.

How corticosteroids work

Corticosteroids replicate the effect of cortisol hormone. Doctor will prescribe corticosteroids to maintain the normal level of cortisol in the body. In Addison’s disease it is prescribed to increase the cortisol production in body, it also helps in suppressing the immune system activity to stop inflammation.


Consumption of corticosteroids can cause increases in blood sugar levels in body. Taking corticosteroids may lead to certain adverse effects when a person already diseased with:

• Ulcers. • Obesity. • Glaucoma or cataract. • Heart attack or cardiac arrest. • High blood pressure. • Liver problems. • Epilepsy. • Substance use disorders.

  • Depression.
  • Diabetes.
  • Obesity.
  • Glaucoma or cataract
  • Heart attack or cardiac arrest.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Liver problems.
  • Epilepsy.
  • Substance use disorders.

Corticosteroids can also be used by women in pregnancy, but it may show some side effects. Therefore, most of the times doctors won’t prescribe corticosteroids. These drugs cannot be used when some other medications are been consumed, such as it will be dangerous to use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) alongside with corticosteroids. The side effects may differ from person to person it may show some side effects when a cream is applied on face and when an injection is taken.

Tips to reduce corticosteroids side effects

Taking lower dosage may reduce the side effects as well, doctors will always prescribe lower dosage and that may still stand for an effective treatment. Some of the tips to reduce risk problems while taking corticosteroids are: –


  • Having some regular sessions of eye tests.
  • Following doctor’s prescription strictly.
  • Having proper diet and exercise in the routine.
  • Avoid interactions with other medications or let your doctor have a thorough knowledge of your previous and ongoing medication.