True side effects of steroids

“Attention-deficit drugs increase concentration in the short term, which is why they work so well for college students cramming for exams. But when given to children over long periods of time, they neither improve school achievement nor reduce behavior problems. The drugs can also have serious side effects... Many parents who take their children off the drugs find that behavior worsens, which most likely confirms their belief that the drugs work. But the behavior worsens because the children's bodies have become adapted [because the drugs are habit-forming] to the drug. Adults may have similar reactions if they suddenly cut back on coffee, or stop smoking.”

A 55-year-old woman diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis developed decreased vision in the left eye accompanied by pain with eye movement 3 days after her 9th infusion (at 1 year of treatment) with infliximab. Patient's vision slowly improved and her visual field deficit resolved after treatment with 1 g methylprednisolone injection per day for 3 days followed by a tapering dose of oral prednisone over 10 days.

A week after the seventh infusion of infliximab 5 mg/kg, a 45-year-old woman with type 2 diabetes mellitus and Crohn's disease developed pain and blurred vision in the left eye. Visual acuity was 20/70. Patient recovered after treatment with intravenous methylprednisolone, followed by a tapering dose of oral prednisone. On examination 3 months later she had 20/20 visual acuity, normal color vision, mild residual left-sided headache, and a normal-appearing optic nerve in the left eye.

A 42-year-old male developed severe unilateral orbital cellulitis while receiving infliximab therapy for ankylosing spondylitis during a clinical trial. Cultures showed Staphylococcus aureus. Infliximab therapy was stopped and the patient made a full recovery after receiving appropriate antibiotic therapy. Infliximab treatment was resumed after three weeks.

A 47-year-old male with rheumatoid arthritis experienced third nerve palsy coincident with infliximab therapy. He received monthly infusions of 300 mg of infliximab for the disease. He initially presented with painless ptosis of his right upper eyelid along with double vision in left and up gaze. Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed gadolinium enhancement of the cisternal segment of the right oculomotor nerve. After stopping infliximab therapy, the diplopia and ptosis gradually resolved during 3 months. Repeat MRI imaging showed resolution of the oculomotor nerve enhancement. [ Ref ]

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In addition to the mentioned side effects several others have been reported. In both males and females acne are frequently reported, as well as hypertrophy of sebaceous glands, increased tallow excretion, hair loss, and alopecia. There is some evidence that anabolic steroid abuse may affect the immune system, leading to a decreased effectiveness of the defense system. Steroid use decreases the glucose tolerance, while there is an increase in insulin resistance. These changes mimic Type II diabetes. These changes seem to be reversible after abstention from the drugs.

True side effects of steroids

true side effects of steroids

In addition to the mentioned side effects several others have been reported. In both males and females acne are frequently reported, as well as hypertrophy of sebaceous glands, increased tallow excretion, hair loss, and alopecia. There is some evidence that anabolic steroid abuse may affect the immune system, leading to a decreased effectiveness of the defense system. Steroid use decreases the glucose tolerance, while there is an increase in insulin resistance. These changes mimic Type II diabetes. These changes seem to be reversible after abstention from the drugs.

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