Corticoids have a bad reputation. With careful and short-term use, however, they are usually safe. Cortisones are not anabolics although both of them belong to the steroids class. You could read more about injectable steroids Canada from PG Anabolics.
Corticosteroids vs. Anabolic Steroids
The term cortisone alone sets the alarm bells ringing for many people. Patients associate the drug with side effects such as weight gain, thinning skin, diabetes, acne, broken bones, or susceptibility to infections.
Glucocorticoids, as many cortisone modifications are called in technical jargon, are based on the hormone cortisol, which the body itself produces in the adrenal cortex. It takes on numerous important tasks in the organism, for example in sugar and bone metabolism or in immune responses.
Unproblematic in the short term
“For short-term use of cortisone is an excellent agent which very quickly reduces inflammation and pain can relieve,” says Professor Heide Siggelkow, an endocrinologist from Göttingen.
The drug is only problematic if it is used long-term and in higher doses. Today this is required less and less because many therapies can be switched to more compatible and more modern drugs.
Cortisone is then usually only used for a short time or as an emergency medication. “If a longer and higher-dose therapy with tablets is necessary, the risk of adverse effects increases significantly,” says pharmacist Dr. Jens Steege from Karlsruhe.
Then the doctor usually has to prescribe additional medication in order to avoid side effects or to get them under control. For example, in people with diabetes, because cortisone increases blood sugar levels. Sometimes more tolerable dosage forms are also available – such as rectal foams or enemas for chronic inflammatory bowel diseases.
Read also: Maintaining a Healthy Balanced Lifestyle
Cortisone is a Rescuer
If oral therapy cannot be avoided, pharmacist Steege advises taking cortisone tablets early in the morning – preferably between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. Then the body releases the maximum amount of cortisol. This is the best way to prevent the organism from reducing its own production due to the supply from outside.
At the end of a long or high-dose therapy, the dose must be gradually reduced according to the doctor’s instructions before the drug is discontinued. If contraindications are observed, no serious side effects are to be expected, especially with the short-term use of modern glucocorticoids, the pharmacist warned.
“They can also be used, for example, to treat mild sunburn or uninfected mosquito bites,” says pharmacist Steege. He recommends using the creams only briefly on small areas of skin. Then: Wash your hands so that the cortisone does not accidentally get from your fingers into your eyes or onto the mucous membranes.
If the effect of a corticosteroid cream is not sufficient to survive the whole day symptom-free, a trick can help: use a suitable base cream from the pharmacy in between. It loosens and activates residues of active ingredients in the ointment that have accumulated in the upper layer of the skin.
With some skin problems such as acne and rosacea as well as with infectious diseases you have to do without glucocorticoid creams at all. If you are not sure, you should seek advice from the pharmacy or see a doctor.
Spray first, then rinse
The pharmacist advises people with asthma or other lung diseases who use cortisone sprays to breathe: “Rinse your mouth after each use.”
Residues of the drug in the oral cavity disrupt the immune system on the mucous membranes. Fungal infections like oral thrush could develop more easily.
On the contrary: These drugs are still considered to be indispensable in medicine, as they can considerably improve the quality of life and even save lives.
Cortisone as a cream
If eczema is troubled by itching, creams with glucocorticoids are the first choice for treatment. Some are available without a prescription if they contain no more than 0.5 percent of the active ingredient hydrocortisone.