Steroids dexamethasone, prednisolone, methylprednisolone and hydrocortisone Cancer information

Steroids dexamethasone, prednisolone, methylprednisolone and hydrocortisone Cancer information

For example, this could include if you have four or more short courses of oral steroids a year. Please see Green-top Guideline No. 74 Antenatal corticosteroids to reduce neonatal morbidity and mortality and the NICE guideline [NG25] Preterm labour and birth. If you need medical treatment for any reason other than cancer, always tell the doctors and nurses you are having cancer treatment.

  • Below, we outline some of the most common side effects and some of the less common side effects of steroids.
  • Your dose of diabetes medication may then need to be adjusted.
  • Nonetheless, it can be unsettling to experience changes in mood.

But if your risk of breaking a bone is still higher, your doctor may suggest staying on an osteoporosis medication for longer, before possibly having a pause in treatment after five years. This pause in treatment – sometimes called a ‘drug holiday’ – will only be suitable if you’re on a bisphosphonate drug, such as alendronate. Your child’s face may appear rounder than usual, particularly after long-term steroid treatment. We’ll monitor them closely throughout treatment to reduce the chance of these happening.


There’s no evidence to suggest that using a steroid inhaler during pregnancy increases the risk of problems like birth defects. You can usually continue to use this as normal while you’re pregnant. There’s generally no reason why someone shouldn’t be able to use a steroid inhaler or steroid spray. However, these should be used with caution in people with ongoing infections, like tuberculosis (TB).

In fact, some studies that have accounted for these extra factors suggest inhaled steroids may not harm your bones at all. A number of things can affect the extent to which your bone strength is affected. These include the type of steroid you are taking, the dose, and how long you’re taking it for. A number of medications contain copies of these natural steroids, including the drugs prednisolone, dexamethasone, hydrocortisone and cortisone.


Prednisolone, prednisone, cortisone and cortisol are measured using Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) following diethyl ether extraction of steroids from plasma. Deuterated prednisolone (D6) and cortisol (D4) are used as the internal standards. You can give our confidential helpline a call and talk to one of our highly trained advisors. Or you can hear from other people with the condition in our online support forum.

Accessing medicines self-help guide

However, they should be avoided or used with caution if you have an ongoing infection or a blood clotting disorder (like haemophilia). For most people, steroid inhalers and steroid injections shouldn’t cause any bad side effects. Steroid tablets are generally prescribed with more caution, as these may cause more problems. Corticosteroids, often known as steroids, are an anti-inflammatory medicine.

Your GP will work out how much you need to take, and for how long, depending on your symptoms and how you’re recovering. If you have other children, they should be also be up to date with their immunisations. By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine. Children and teenagers taking this medicine may grow less than normal.

You may get some of the side effects we mention, but you are unlikely to get all of them. If you are also having treatment with other cancer drugs, you may have some side effects that we have not listed here. Always tell your doctor, nurse or pharmacist about any side effects you have.

Steroid cards

While your blood sugar levels are disrupted, avoid sugary foods and drinks. The type of infections you are more at risk of depends on the type and dose of steroid medication you take. For example, steroid tablets and steroids given uk steroids shop online intravenously (into a vein) can make you more prone to developing infections such as colds, chickenpox, shingles and measles. Prednisolone is a steroid drug used for the treatment of a number of conditions including asthma.

How are corticosteroids taken?

Steroids are usually only given for a short time to quickly treat flare-ups of your condition. Depending on which condition you have and what dose you’re prescribed, you may notice an improvement in your symptoms within a few days. Don’t have immunisations with live vaccines while you’re having treatment and for up to 12 months afterwards. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how long you should avoid live vaccinations.