Steroids are very powerful and can have a broad range of side effects. These steroids are only used if the benefits are more than the risk, and the side effects of steroids mainly depend on the following;
- The kind of steroid you are taking
Oral steroids are likely to cause more side effects than injections or inhalers.
- The dose
The more you take steroids, the greater are the risks of experiencing side effects.
- The length of treatment
For instance, you are more likely to experience side effects if you take oral tablets for more than a month.
Adults and young children are more likely to develop side effects.
Some of the key side effects will be discussed in this article
Side effects of steroid inhalers
Steroid inhalers have very negligible side effects or none at all, if it use in moderation. However, some of the reported side effects of inhaled steroids are;
- A sore throat or moth
- Little nosebleeds
- A croaky voice, speaking difficulties
- Oral thrush and a cough
It is important to wash your mouth after you have used a steroid so as to prevent oral thrush. You can also use a tool known as ‘’Spacer’’ together with the steroids to prevent many other complications.
Research has also indicated that those who suffer from COPD, can get serious chest infections such as pneumonia if they inhale steroids.
Talk to your healthcare provider if you are concerned. High doses of steroid inhalers can cause serious side effects that are more associated with steroid tablets.
Steroids injected to joints and muscles may cause swelling and serious pain at the spot of injection. However, this pain disappears after a few days.
In addition, steroid injections can lead to tendon or muscle weakness. Therefore, your health care provider may direct you to take some rest for several days after injection.
Other side effects of steroid injections may include thinning, blushing and lightening of the skin in the region where the injection was administered.
Because of many side effects, steroid injections are only administered at intervals of at least one month and up to three injections into one region is usually advised.
Intravenous steroids are usually injected into the blood vessels. This type of steroid can cause widespread effects.
Steroid tablets are not supposed to be taken for a period exceeding three weeks. If taken in short periods, steroid tablets have minimal side effects.
However, it is sometimes crucial for them to be consumed for a long period. In such scenarios, you are more likely to experience intense side effects, but this should be expected.
Steroid tablets have the following effects if taken for a long time.
- Increased appetite
- Rapid mood changes as well as mood swings
- Muscle weakness
- Slow wound healing
- Delicate skin that can get bruises easily
- Mental health issues such as suicidal thoughts, depression, hallucinations and anxiety
- Increased risk of infections such as measles, chickenpox and shingles
- Reduced growth in kids
- Cataracts and glaucoma
- High blood pressure
If you experience any of these effects, talk to your healthcare provider.