Cortisone: what it is, what it is used for and risks
Throughout this article we are going to explain exactly what is cortisone , why it is used and what risks has. Cortisone, technically speaking, is a steroid hormone, which is a corticosteroid, similar to corticosterone. It is used, fundamentally, to mitigate all kinds of ailments and can be administered in different ways.
What is cortisone?
Like we say, cortisone is a steroid hormone , similar to corticosterone, which is used to mitigate all kinds of ailments . It is produced by our own body, but it has also been imitated and handled in a synthetic way, to block allergic reactions and for treatments from pain and inflammation.
Cortisone, focusing on the one that is handled in a Synthetic, it is supplied orally, cutaneously, intravenously or intraarterially. The function of cortisone is usually to suppress the immune system, to reduce, in this way, the inflammatory response, and to neutralize the pain and swelling, although we must be very careful with the possible side effects it may have.
You have to know that the body naturally produces corticosteroids, naturally, in the cortex of the adrenal glands. These corticosteroids have a decisive influence on the functioning of muscles, bones, heart , etc., maintaining the balance between fluids and electrolytes. They also have effects on the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and proteins.
Cortisone, if not produced naturally, is a drug , to treat > the symptoms produced by the sudden decrease in corticosteroids in our body.It can be given along with some other medication, prescribed by the doctor, without having adverse reactions. It is used in knee pain, arthritis, tennis elbow and bursitis.
The cortisone injection produces immediate relief , in the area where it has been applied In form of pills , cortisone is effective, if we treat joint pains and treatments that generate severe pain and inflammation.
It is also used to treat endocrine disorders , allergic reactions, respiratory disorders and other ailments, such as skin diseases.
However, it must be borne in mind that cortisone, as well as other drugs, may have adverse reactions , as is the case of abdominal pain, crystallization of the area, or increase of blood sugar, especially in diabetics. There may also be other types of reactions, such as infections, if the usual hygienic conditions are not applied, and cutaneous problems. The area in which the injection is applied may appear whitish, especially when the person has excessively dark skin.
For asthmatics it is convenient to take cortisone, through aerosols . However, this also has its risks, since despite having less blood penetration, increases the risk of candidiasis, which can promote the appearance of fungi.
The risks of cortisone
Even though cortisone serves to mitigate all kinds of ailments, especially to reduce inflammation and swelling, also has its negative side, since it means that we can assume some risks .
We must bear in mind, that the shorter the treatment of cortisone, the less risk we will assume, with the application of it.
When the treatment is less than ten days, we assume virtually no risk. But if we talk about treatments over three months, we have to be aware of everything and notify the doctor or specialist, any type of alteration that we have suffered.
One of the most frequent risks is the fluid retention , leading to edema and weight loss.
It can also cause an aggravation, in older people, of the problems derived from osteoporosis, since there is more risk of bone fracture. , for problems related to calcium.
Other risks that we have are ulcer cases, at the stomach level, the possibility of suffering pulmonary tuberculosis. It is also possible that the diabetes worsens and the cases of nervousness increase, as well as of insomnia and of nervousness.
Whenever we are taking other medications, we must tell the doctor first to let us know if it is correct, that we take cortisone. Be especially alert, when taking lithium, diuretics or laxatives.
Types of cortisone
Cortisone is a hormone that occurs naturally in the body but in moderate to small amounts, being that in some animals this substance is produced more abundantly .
For this reason, a synthetic version of this artificially produced substance is usually used for its medical applications, which allows it to be used in a localized and effective way, at a low cost.
Natural cortisone is produced in our organism in response to a situation of danger or stress.One of the most popular uses of cortisone is the treatment of allergies, in its presentation of capsules of 5 or 10 milligrams is an effective auxiliary for the treatment and prevention of allergenic conditions.
On the other hand, cortisone is often used as a supportive drug in various cancer treatments. In itself it does not contain anticancer substances on its own but its properties often complement the chemotherapy helping to eliminate cancer cells more effectively besides helping to reduce the vomiting and nausea that often accompany chemotherapy treatments.
It also helps reduce pain caused by certain tumors and reduces inflammation of organs affected by this disease.
How does the injection of cortisone?
Another of the most popular applications of cortisone is in the treatment of arthritis and osteoarthritis, since its most known property is anti-inflammatory and is an excellent aid to reduce the swelling, stiffness and pain that these conditions cause in those who suffer from them, cortisone injections are usually applied to enhance their effects on the affected limbs.
This way of applying cortisone allows the Reduction of pain and inflammation occurs almost immediately, by specifically concentrating on the area that requires the reduction of inflammation that results in decreased pain.
If you suffer from this disease, you can talk to your doctor about it. Regarding this form of treatment, however, it tries to follow its indications and not apply more than the recommended cortisone since it is a delicate treatment due to the potential side effects of its continued use.
Side effects of cortisone
Cortisone is very popular for its rapid action to reduce swelling and pain, but being a synthetically produced substance its interaction with our body can cause some adverse effects .
Initially, if you have hypersensitivity to cortisone, you may experience headache, fluid retention and insomnia at the time of your application. In some cases, cortisone favors the appearance of acne and stimulates the production of body hair in infrequent areas.
The continued use of synthetic cortisone can cause the body to depend on this substance, which, unchecked, can trigger permanent ailments and reduce health causing diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, chronic fatigue and loss of bone density by decalcification.
Contraindications of cortisone
The use of cortisone is not recommended for people who have pre-existing conditions of gastrointestinal problems, diabetes or hypertension, and it is not advisable to prescribe this substance without a careful medical control, to prevent permanent side effects due to its excessive use. .
Alternative natural remedies to cortisone
Herbal supplements are available olaries that contain a large amount of cortisone and you can use them as enhancers of their benefits in your body. The body develops a tolerance to the drug and quickly needs it to work . A physical or psychological dependence of cortisone can be observed.
When treatment is discontinued, feelings of anxiety and/or symptoms suggestive of depression may occur. When these symptoms disappear when the treatment is reintroduced, this can be diagnosed as corticosteroid dependence. A gradual decrease in dose could help prevent this phenomenon.
Physical dependence of cortisone
Physical dependence on steroids as is the case of cortisone occurs when people use the drug so much that they need it to function normally . With the use of anabolic steroids, the dependency occurs when the adrenal glands reduce the production of natural steroids to compensate for the changes caused by the abuse of steroids . When this dependency happens, a series of changes occur in the body. For example, cortisone users can develop tolerance, which means that they must increase their dose to achieve the same effects. Addicts may also experience withdrawal symptoms when they spend enough time without a dose, because the body's adrenal glands have not yet returned to full function.
If you have gone through long-term cortisone treatment and you feel anxiety, nervousness or depression after stopping treatment, tell the doctor.
The doctor will examine the possibility of withdrawal syndrome and take the appropriate measures .>
Psychological dependency of cortisone
Although the addiction to cortisone often has a physical component, psychological dependence occurs with the same frequency . When people abuse cortisone they can not accept the seriousness of the problem creating a mental barrier they can become more psychologically dependent on steroids every time they consume.
As psychologically they have dependence, they develop a feeling of inadequacy that can push addicts to consume cortisone more frequently or in higher doses, habits that increase the risk of physical and psychological dependence.
When you should not take cortisone
Before taking cortisone, inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other corticosteroids (eg, prednisone); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which may cause allergic reactions or other problems . Ask your pharmacist for more details.
This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions.Therefore, before undergoing surgery or emergency treatment, or if you suffer from a serious illness or injury, inform your doctor or dentist that you are using this medicine or have used this medicine in the last 12 months. > Tell your doctor immediately if you develop fatigue or unusual or extreme weight loss. If you are going to use this medication for a long time, wear a warning card or medical identification bracelet that identifies your use of this medication .
Avoid contact with people who have chicken pox or measles unless you have had these diseases before (for example, in childhood). If you are exposed to one of these infections and have not had it before, seek immediate medical attention.
If you have a history of ulcers or take large doses of aspirin or other arthritis medication, limit drinks alcoholic drinks while taking this medication to decrease the risk of intestinal bleeding.
If you have diabetes, this medication can make it difficult to control your blood sugar levels . Regularly monitor your blood sugar levels and inform your doctor of the results. Your medicine, exercise plan or diet may need to be adjusted.
This medicine can cause dizziness. Do not drive, or use machinery or perform activities that require alertness until you are sure that you can perform these activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
This medication can slow a child's growth if used for a long time. Consult the doctor or pharmacist for more details. Consult the doctor regularly so that your child's height and growth can be checked.
This medicine should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy . There have been rare reports of harm to the unborn baby. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Babies born to mothers who have been using this medication for a long time may have low levels of corticosteroid hormone. Tell your doctor immediately if you notice symptoms such as persistent nausea or vomiting, severe diarrhea or weakness in your newborn.
It is not known if this medication passes into breast milk. See your doctor before breastfeeding.
Uses of cortisone
Cortisone is a corticosteroid (glucocorticoid) hormone. Reduces your body's natural defensive response and reduces Symptoms such as swelling and allergic-type reactions.
This medicine is used to treat conditions such as arthritis, blood/hormone/immune system disorders, allergic reactions, certain conditions skin and eye problems, respiratory problems and certain types of cancer.
How to use cortisone
Take this medication taken orally with food or milk to prevent upset stomach .
The dose and duration of treatment are based on your medical condition and response to the therapy . Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it.
Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions can get worse when this drug stops suddenly. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.
Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.