Side effects of a super drug

As we all know, steroids form one of the essential set of medications that are used across a variety of different specialties, and certainly are not easily replaced. For all the benefits, they bring with them a large suitcase full of side effects, and the Otolaryngololic Clinics of America bring us a review to remind us of them. 

Here are some of the key things to know:

  • morphologic changes
    • central adiposity
  • hyperglycaemia
  • infection
  • poor wound healing
  • deranged bone metabolism
  • cataracts and glaucoma
  • skin changes
  • peptic ulcers
  • adrenal suppression
  • myopathy
  • hypertension
  • vascular disease
  • psychiatric
The article goes on to describe each of these in excellent detail, and has a great table summarising the above. Hard to remember all of these off the top of your head to start out, so there are a few mnemonics out there to help – personally, I’m a fan of MR. CUSHINGOID (modified from another mnemonic):

Muscles/myopathy | Mental state
Reduced wound healing
Cataracts | Central adiposity
Skin | Suppression
Hypertension | Hyperglycaemia
Necrosis (avascular)

That covers the main ones, but certainly it’s worth reading the article to give yourself a full update. Read it at the source here

If you’ve got a better mnemonic or think there is more to add, don’t forget to add a comment or send us an email

IMAGE: Caroldermoid

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