The human body naturally produces chemicals called corticosteroids. These are hormones that are responsible for regulating specific processes. There are also synthetic steroids that are used to treat a series of diseases, taking advantage of the functions that these hormones fulfill.
Like natural steroids, molecules produced by scientific research reduce inflammation, suppress the immune system, and inhibit histamine, released when there are allergies. But unlike biological molecules, the use of synthetic ones has unwanted effects. Recent research aims to lessen those effects. In addition to this, corticosteroids can also generate interactions when taken with other drugs. At FastlyHealwe will answer the following question: Can I take ibuprofen and corticosteroids together?
What are corticosteroids
Steroids, corticosteroids, or glucocorticosteroids, as corticosteroids are also called, are steroid hormones that are usually produced by the adrenal glands. The secretion of these hormones is subject to regulation by the pituitary. In turn, they are regulated by the hypothalamus, which constitutes the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which is part of the complex hormonal system of the human body.
For several decades, man has managed to manufacture synthetic steroids used to treat certain diseases by partially modifying the structure of natural molecules. In general, the variations seek to enhance its anti-inflammatory power and, on the other hand, reduce side effects. In some cases, there is no difference between the structure of the natural molecule and the synthetic molecule, as in the case of cortisol and hydrocortisone, so they are given different names to differentiate them.
The discovery of synthetic corticosteroids has been of great importance due to their powerful effects, both anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive. At first, they were used to treat rheumatological diseases, and then patients with different inflammatory processes such as asthma began to be treated. Currently, these drugs exist in other presentations: tablets, soluble tablets, solutions, creams, inhalers, and injections.
Steroids are used to treat a long list of conditions. Its use is related in most cases to its anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties. That is why corticosteroids are used to :
- Inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
- Autoimmune diseases.
- Joint disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and polymyalgia rheumatic.
- Allergic bronchopulmonary, nasal, skin, and ocular processes.
Corticosteroids: side effects
These synthetic hormones bring a series of side effects that can affect different organs and systems. Between these:
- They affect the patient’s metabolism in various ways. On the one hand, they increase the concentration of sugar in the blood and the concentration of cholesterol. If they are taken for an extended period, they can even produce changes in the distribution of body fat.
- It affects the metabolism of calcium and has sodium retention, which causes the appearance of edema and an increase in blood pressure.
- It favors the elimination of calcium and phosphorus, making the patient prone to osteoporosis and fractures. In infants, it can affect growth.
- It reduces the action of the immune system, which favors the appearance of infections.
- It weakens the skin so that healing becomes slow, and stretch marks may appear. There have even been cases of rashes and dermatitis.
- When applied to the eyes, it has been observed to increase intraocular pressure and eventually cause cataracts. Especially in children.
- Oral administration may cause ulcer gastro-duodenal.
- It can cause an imbalance of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in long treatments, damaging the adrenal gland.
- Some allergic reactions have also been observed.
- It should not be used during pregnancy and lactation except in particular cases and when the doctor indicates it. It increases the risk of infections in the fetus and can cause growth retardation.
- In children, it can also slow down growth.
Can I take ibuprofen and corticosteroids together?
In addition to the unwanted effects, Corticosteroids can interact with other medications and cause more significant discomfort to the patient. The doctor may prescribe several drugs together or that the patient self-medicates and does not know what the side effects of combining certain drugs are. It is essential to understand these effects and identify them so that you can counteract them before the situation worsens.
In the case of ibuprofen, it is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug or NSAID used to reduce pain and inflammation. It is commonly prescribed to relieve fever, toothache, menstrual pain, and especially in cases of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis for its dual anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect. Its frequent and long-term use carries certain risks such as heart attack, stroke, and irritation of the stomach and intestine mucous membranes, even producing ulcers and bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract.
It turns out then that when corticosteroids and ibuprofen are taken together, some of their side effects are enhanced. Mainly when they are used for a long time. If corticosteroids and ibuprofen are taken simultaneously, it is more likely that there will be bleeding and the appearance of ulcers in the digestive system because both drugs affect the mucous membrane that internally covers the gastrointestinal system. The unwanted effects increase significantly when they are prolonged treatments.
It is always advisable to consult with the doctor before taking any medicine he has not prescribed, as it is the only way to ensure that they do not interact negatively with each other. Often, such as in the case of Prednisone and Ibuprofen, the doctor will be able to prescribe both medicines at the same time to treat some painful conditions.
Prednisone is a synthetic glucocorticoid, and ibuprofen is an NSAID. Their use together increases the risk of unwanted effects on the digestive system. However, it is also known that ibuprofen has the best gastrointestinal safety profile among NSAIDs. It is recommended that when both are used simultaneously, it is only for short periods and is done under strict medical supervision.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.