“Short-term Oral Steroids Carry Serious Risks”

According to a cohort study of over 1.5 million adults, published in the British Medical Journal, millions of Americans prescribed short-term oral corticosteroids are taking a dose of risk along with their medication.  The study found that within 30 days of initiating these drugs, even at relatively low doses, users had a nearly twofold increased risk for fracture, a threefold increased risk for venous thromboembolism (blood clot), and a fivefold increased risk for sepsis (blood poisoning).  Short-term corticosteroids are among the most common cause for hospitalization for drug-related adverse events but they have not been carefully studied.  Anabolic steroids are used to build up muscle and strength; whereas, corticosteroids are used to dampen overactive immune responses and reduce swelling and inflammation.  Side effects are common with oral steroids and include, but not limited to the following (in alphabetical order): acne; blurred vision; cataracts or glaucoma; easy bruising; difficulty sleeping; high blood pressure; increased appetite and weight gain; increased growth of body hair; insomnia; lower resistance to infection; muscle weakness; nervousness and restlessness; osteoporosis; stomach irritation or bleeding; sudden mood swings; swollen or puffy face; water retention and swelling and worsening of diabetes.

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