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Cortisone: what it is and side effects

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Cortisone is one of the most widely used and well-known medications in the medical world, in part, thanks to the enormous variety of problems it encompasses. This corticosteroid is a powerful anti-inflammatory that can be used to treat many diseases and conditions, including some tumors, asthma, allergies or serious inflammations. Depending on the condition, how to use it will also vary.

But the effects of cortisone in our body are not only positive, if it is not used correctly it can cause some side effects of different severity that should also be known. That is why in the following FastlyHealarticle we want to explain everything you need to know about this drug, you can read it in cortisone: what it is and side effects .

What is cortisone

Like many of the drugs that are administered and prescribed regularly, cortisone is still a synthetic, laboratory copy of a substance that our body is already capable of producing on its own. In this case, we are able to isolate it and use it for a specific purpose, using its benefits.

Cortisone, specifically, is a hormonal-type steroid that is secreted by the adrenal gland. In a stressful situation, in the face of danger, our body releases a combination of adrenaline and glucocorticoids, among which is cortisol. This last hormone is responsible for accelerating the heart rate and increasing blood pressure, preparing the body for an imminent flight. It is precisely from cortisol that cortisone is derived.

Despite the fact that synthetic cortisone is very similar to cortisol, with it we are able to monitor its function by applying it to a specific site with a clear objective. On the other hand, cortisone also has a longer lasting effect, although it depends on the way it is administered. We currently have different ways of using cortisone :

  • Injections
  • Oral use
  • Pills or pills
  • Topical use with creams or ointments

In the next section we will explain what cortisones are for and under what situations it is usually administered.

Cortisone: what is it for?

In the medical world, cortisone is known as “the great remedy”, as it is valid for treating many ailments. That, in part, is due to the fact that its effects are very diverse, working on a wide range of diseases and symptoms. The main medical benefits of cortisone are as follows:

  • Mainly it is a great anti-inflammatory. It prevents white blood cells from accessing that area of ​​the body, preventing them from causing inflammation.
  • They are used to treat some disorders of the immune system.
  • It also serves to normalize some blood conditions.
  • It is used as a treatment for nausea caused by chemotherapy.
  • It is administered to increase the appetite in people with great problems for it.

For all of the above, cortisone can be used in many different pathologies . Here we explain some of the most common, although not all:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases of rheumatic origin.
  • Respiratory diseases such as asthma or COPD , chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
  • Diseases of the immune system.
  • Certain allergies.
  • Certain cancers, mainly those with inflammatory symptoms.
  • Multiple sclerosis .
  • Dermatological diseases such as atopic dermatitis, itching or eczema.
  • Eye diseases such as retinal or corneal infections.
  • In organ transplantation.
  • Crohn’s disease .
  • Ulcerative Colitis .

Cortisone: side effects of injection, oral or topical use

One of the great fears that people have about corticosteroid therapy are the side effects that can be derived from it. That is why it is so important to follow the medication plan prepared by the doctor, without leaving it before or after and avoiding self-medication. Each drug has doses and times that are suitable for the person taking it and altering any of these factors can cause unpleasant side effects. Here we explain what they are:

Short-term side effects:

  • Insomnia
  • High blood sugar levels
  • Headaches
  • Heartburn
  • Anxiety
  • Fluid retention
  • Mood disturbances

Long-term side effects:

  • Mellitus diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Bone diseases
  • Tiredness
  • Bloody bowel movements and vomiting

Side effects of cortisone once it is stopped

But the side effects of cortisone not only occur during its intake, also once it is left it can leave some sequelae in our body for some time. This normally occurs in those long-term treatments, in which cortisone doses are being received for a long time. The main side effects of cortisone once left are the following two:

Physical dependency:

If we take into account that our body produces cortisone on its own and we add the fact that you may have taken it synthetically for a long time, the body can act by stopping manufacturing it to prevent an excess from occurring. The risk of this is that once left your body no longer produces it and the opposite effect can be caused. The way to prevent this from happening is to gradually leave the cortisone, as indicated by the doctor, gradually lowering the doses until your body adapts.

Psychological dependence:

Seen in a certain way, cortisone is still a drug like any other. Prescribed by a specialist, with follow-up and under strict surveillance, it can be of great help, but taken in excess, without control and with too high doses it can end up causing a dependency from which it is difficult to get out. This is one of the problems of self-medication, that people are not aware of the power of certain substances and from taking them so much without control they end up developing a strong addiction as if it were any other drug.

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.

If you want to read more articles similar to Cortisone: what it is and side effects , we recommend that you enter our category of Medication and medical tests .

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