How to take Oral Corticosteroids

. Posted in TREATING SINUS DISEASE

Oral steroids are strong medicine but are very effective and safe when used properly. They are bitter to the taste, even in pill form. Be sure to
eat something before taking this medication, and have a glass of water in hand when placing the tablets into your mouth. If there is nothing in your stomach, you might find that the steroids will upset it, which can cause gastroesophageal reflux.

Side Effects Steroids are excellent medicine with a bad reputation. Patient fears about taking steroids are usually way out of proportion to the risk of taking them. However, when using oral steroids at higher doses, the body’s pituitary axis may shift, and you may experience weight gain, water retention, acne, irritability, breast enlargement, aggression, gastrointestinal upset, high blood pressure, palpitations, increased cholesterol levels, heart disease, impotence, liver failure, glaucoma, cataracts, and/or loss of sleep. Furthermore, steroids can make some people feel hungry and others feel bloated and have no appetite. Oddly, the loss of sleep caused by steroids is not related to insomnia: Even with fewer hours of sleep, these patients awake feeling alert and refreshed. These side effects rarely occur with short-term steroid usage.

Oral Steroids

Dexamethasone (Decadron)

Methylprednisolone (Medrol Dose pack)

Prednisolone (Pediapred, Orapred)

Prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone, Liquid Pred)

Topical Nasal Corticosteroids

Steroid nasal sprays deliver a precise dosage of medication directly to the nose and the sinuses and are far safer than oral steroids that have to travel through your body to take effect. Nasal steroid sprays have a very minimal uptake into the bloodstream, and this small amount gets excreted from the body fairly quickly. You must take your steroid nasal sprays every day for them to be effective, even when you are not suffering from symptoms. The steroid must work on your nasal membrane by bringing down membrane inflammation before it becomes effective; you may be using the spray anywhere from 3 days to 4 weeks before you will feel the benefits. The amount of time before feeling relief depends
on your dosage, your sensitivity to the medicines, your particular clinical picture, the specific steroid medication that is prescribed, and the way that your body reacts to it. Furthermore, if you are placed on additional oral steroids, then you will find that they augment any affect that topical steroids would have offered. Nasal steroid sprays have very few side effects and are safe to take. In addition, unlike over-the - counter decongestant sprays, there is no rebound phenomenon or any addiction.

Side Effects Nasal steroid sprays usually do not build up a systemic level because most of the steroid is minimally absorbed and that which gets absorbed gets eliminated by the body almost immediately. Because of this, most of the systemic effects of oral steroids are usually not experienced. The side effects even from a short-term, high-dose oral steroid are probably very low. The side effects of a nasal steroid spray are even lower. You will want to get regular checkups from your prescribing doctor if you will be using steroid nasal sprays for more than a few months, so that your progress, and any side effects, can be monitored.

The side effects of steroid nasal sprays include various sensations inside the nose (burning, dryness, or irritation), headaches, sore throat, or increased sneezing. These reactions are generally mild, and you should inform your physician if you are suffering from any of them. If you start to develop nosebleeds, stop using the spray immediately and consult your doctor. Steroid nasal sprays have been known to cause septal perforation (a hole in your septum between your two nostrils). This is probably caused by the propellant that carries the steroid rather than from the steroid itself or by the way that you insert the spray into your nose. Septal perforation from steroid sprays is a very rare complication.

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