Corticosteroids function in the body

An example of an acute hepatitis-like syndrome arising after pulse methylprednisolone therapy.  These episodes arise typically 2 to 4 weeks after a third or fourth cycle of pulse therapy, and range in severity from an asymptomatic and transient rise in serum aminotransferase levels to an acute hepatitis and even fulminant hepatic failure.  In this instance, the marked and persistent rise in serum enzymes coupled with liver histology suggesting chronic hepatitis led to a diagnosis of new-onset autoimmune hepatitis, despite the absence of serum autoantibodies or hypergammaglobulinemia.  Autoimmune hepatitis may initially present in this fashion, without the typical pattern of serum autoantibodies during the early, anicteric phase.  The diagnosis was further supported by the prompt improvements in serum enzymes with prednisone therapy.  The acute hepatitis-like syndrome that can occur after pulses of methylprednisolone is best explained as a triggering of an underlying chronic autoimmune hepatitis caused by the sudden and profound immunosuppression followed by rapid withdrawal.  This syndrome can be severe, and fatal instances have been reported.  Whether reinitiation of corticosteroid therapy with gradual tapering and withdrawal is effective in ameliorating the course of illness is unclear, but anecdotal reports such as this one suggest that they are beneficial and should be initiated promptly on appearance of this syndrome.  Long term follow up of such cases is also necessary to document that the autoimmune hepatitis does not relapse once corticosteroids are withdrawn again.

Long-acting corticosteroids improve lung function by suppressing inflammation in the respiratory passages and help reduce the need for oral medication. Types of long-acting corticosteroids and their usual daily dosages pinclude the following:

  • Aerospan (flunisolide HFA)—2 inhalations 2x/day
  • Alvesco (ciclesonide)—1-2 inhalations 2x/day
  • Asmanex Twisthaler (mometasone)—1 inhalation 2x/day or 2 inhalations 1x/day
  • Flovent HFA (fluticasone)—1-4 inhalations 2x/day
  • Pulmicort Flexhaler (budesonide)—1-2 inhalations 2x/day
  • QVAR (beclomethasone)—1-4 inhalations 2x/day

We included five RCTs involving 576 people. The trials were largely at low risk of bias , but we considered the quality of the evidence from these trials as moderate to low, largely due to imprecision from small sample sizes. Two out of the five trials reported on improvement in nerve function at one year. These two trials compared prednisolone with placebo . One trial , with 84 participants, treated mild sensory impairment of less than six months' duration, and the other, with 95 participants, treated nerve function impairment of 6 to 24 months' duration. There was no significant difference in nerve function improvement after 12 months between people treated with prednisolone and those treated with placebo . Adverse events were not reported significantly more often with corticosteroids than with placebo . The other three trials did not report on the primary outcome measure. One (334 participants) compared three corticosteroid regimens for severe type 1 reactions. No serious side effects of steroids were reported in any participant during the follow-up period. Another trial (21 participants) compared low-dose prednisone with high-dose prednisone for ulnar neuropathy. Two participants on the higher dose of prednisone reported adverse effects . The last (42 participants) compared intravenous methylprednisolone and oral prednisolone with intravenous normal saline and oral prednisolone. The trial found no significant differences between the groups in the occurrence of adverse events.

Corticosteroids function in the body

corticosteroids function in the body


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