Limiting the Side Effects of Steroid Overuse

2010-11-29 |

Corticosteroids For Chronic Sinusitis and Rhinitis

One other common use of steroids is in the relief of symptoms for those suffering from chronic sinusitis and rhinitis or sinus and nasal inflammation. Over years of using sinus sprays or drops with corticosteroids, the elevated levels of steroids in the system can cause the adrenal gland to reduce its hormone production. The result of this is that patients become dependent upon the nasal drops and sprays. In the event that the use of these sprays is stopped abruptly, patients may suffer dangerous health effects from the unnaturally low hormone levels that result. The effects are made worse when patients over use these sprays and drops.

According to a study from the North Glasgow Hospitals, researchers found that only 1 in 7 individuals use these common nasal sprays and drops at the right dosage. On average, most individuals were using twice the prescribed dosage. Such use can be expected when individuals do not feel relief as immediately as they might wish. Unfortunately, considering the extent to which steroids can affect the body, such arbitrary use of these powerful medications means that patients are increasing their risks.

Conclusions

Although steroids do have an important role in medical treatment, they are potent medications and must be treated as such. With their ability to provide rapid relief of symptoms as well as their numerous effects on the body, a prescription for steroids should be provided to patients along with much better education regarding the negative long-term effects of these drugs. Patients, on the other hand, need to consider the implications of that extra squirt of skin cream or nasal spray or that extra breathe on the inhaler. Unlike those athletes who seek fame and fortune from the enhanced performance delivered by steroids, patients using corticosteroids are simply trying to feel better. They simply need to avoid abusing the medications in the process.

Related Links

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2696308
http://www.clinical-ophthalmology.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=337:inhaled-and-oral-steroid-use-impacts-cataract-risk&catid=28:research-findings&Itemid=73
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12653048
http://www.ophthalmologyjournaloftheaao.com/article/S0161-6420%2899%2990530-4/abstract
http://www.glaucoma.org/learn/glaucoma_facts.php
http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/adis/dag/1999/00000015/00000006/art00004
http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crim/2010/846534.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1281603/
http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=401822

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Category: Disease Information, Health Risks, Medical Research, Medical Treatment

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