What is Cortisone? Cortisone Treatment

Cortisone drugs are a group of drugs widely used in the treatment of many diseases. Frequently asked questions about cortisone drugs are explained in this article.

What is Cortisone?

Cortisone is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands in the body. This hormone has a suppressive effect on the immune system and reduces inflammation. Cortisone drugs are drugs that have chemical properties similar to the cortisone hormone. The effects of these drugs are very similar to the effects of the hormone cortisone. Cortisone drugs can be used for many different reasons, especially to reduce inflammation in the body. Such situations that the body encounters are called stress, and cortisone is also called the stress hormone and helps the body to overcome these situations.

What is Cortisone Used For?

Cortisone medications can come in different forms. There are different options for the treatment of different diseases, such as cortisone injections and cortisone pills.

Cortisone medications are generally used to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system response. In addition, cortisone drugs can be given as replacement therapy to patients with insufficiency of some hormones.

The diseases for which cortisone pills are used are as follows:

Adrenal Insufficiency: Adrenal glands or also known as adrenal glands; It is responsible for synthesizing cortisol, aldosterone and androgen hormones. In adrenal insufficiency, these hormones cannot be produced sufficiently. Addison’s disease is an example of a condition that causes adrenal insufficiency. Patients with adrenal insufficiency may experience many symptoms such as fatigue, loss of appetite, darkening of the skin color (hyperpigmentation), low blood pressure and low blood sugar. Cortisone is given to these patients as hormone replacement therapy, that is, to replace hormones that are not produced sufficiently.

Arthritis (Joint Inflammation): Arthritis; It causes problems such as swelling, redness, pain and limitation of joint movements in the joints. The type of joint inflammation known as osteoarthritis is popularly known as ‘calcification’ and usually occurs due to aging. Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition in which the immune system becomes overactive and causes damage to the joints. Cortisone treatment can be started in arthritis patients to reduce inflammation in the joints and stop the progression of the disease.

Allergic Disorders: In diseases such as pollen and house dust allergy, the immune system is extremely sensitive to the substance to which it is allergic. An inflammatory response occurs in the body as a result of the allergic substance entering the body through breathing or other means. This response reveals the well-known symptoms of allergic diseases, such as runny nose and watery eyes. Inflammation in the body can be reduced by using cortisone in the treatment of allergic diseases.

Asthma: Asthma is a disease that progresses with attacks that cause breathing difficulties as a result of exposure to some allergic or irritant triggering substances. In the treatment of asthma, cortisone suppresses the excessive mucus formation that causes narrowing of the airways and helps the patient breathe more easily. Cortisone is a frequently preferred medication in the long-term treatment of asthma.

Ulcerative Colitis: Ulcerative colitis; It is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes symptoms such as bloody diarrhea and abdominal pain. In the treatment of this disease, cortisone is used to reduce inflammation in the intestine.

Anemia: Cortisone may be preferred in the treatment of some rare types of anemia.

Lupus: Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s immune system attacks his own tissues and organs. In lupus, damage caused by the immune system can be seen in almost every organ. In this disease, cortisone can be used to reduce inflammation in the body. Long-term high-dose cortisone treatment can be applied to lupus patients with brain and kidney damage.

Some Skin Diseases: Psoriasis is a skin disorder caused by the immune system’s faster regeneration of the skin. In psoriasis, red, itchy, scaly lesions may appear on the skin. Cortisone can be used in the treatment of the disease.

Cortisone injection helps reduce inflammation in a specific part of the body. For example, a cortisone injection applied to the knee joint where there is inflammation; It reduces swelling in the joint, relieves pain and improves joint movement. The cortisone injection may also contain a low dose of local anesthetic. In this way, the relief in the injection area will be greater. Cortisone injection; It can be used to treat back pain, gout, tendinitis and many types of arthritis.

What are the Side Effects of Cortisone?

Cortisone has many side effects. While some of these side effects are mild, some can cause serious problems. As the dose of cortisone used in treatment increases and the duration of treatment increases, the risk of side effects increases.

Common side effects of cortisone:

  • restlessness, exuberance
  • Headache
  • confusion
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Skin thinning, redness, acne formation
  • increased sweating
  • Getting fat
  • It can be listed as difficulty falling asleep.

Serious side effects of cortisone are:

Allergic reaction: Symptoms such as skin rash, itching and swelling of the face, lips and tongue may develop due to an allergic reaction.

Fluid and electrolyte imbalances: Fluid retention and edema may occur in the body. Heart failure may develop. Shortness of breath, swelling in the arms and legs, and increased pulse are among the symptoms of heart failure. Cortisone can also cause high blood pressure.

Muscle and Bone Problems: Cortisone can cause muscle weakness and tendon tears. Osteoporosis and fractures in the spine bones are also among the serious side effects of cortisone.

Stomach Disorders: Abdominal pain and black stools may occur due to peptic ulcer formation in patients using cortisone.

Eye Problems: Cortisone can increase intraocular pressure. It can cause problems such as blurred or double vision.

Growth Retardation in Children: The use of cortisone during childhood may suppress growth and development.

Convulsion: It is a serious side effect that may occur due to cortisone.

What should be taken into consideration when using cortisone?

  • Some drug interactions may occur when cortisone medications are used with other medications. To avoid this situation, if another medication is used in addition to cortisone, it should be used under the supervision of a doctor. While using cortisone, new medications should not be started without consulting a doctor.
  • People receiving cortisone treatment should not receive live vaccines. In these vaccines, the disease-causing microorganism is introduced into the vaccine in a weakened but live form to trigger the immune response in the body. Examples of live vaccines are BCG (tuberculosis), chickenpox, MMR (Measles-Rubella-Mumps) and oral polio vaccine. The immune system is suppressed in people receiving cortisone treatment. Therefore, live vaccines may cause infection in these people.
  • Since cortisone will increase blood pressure, blood pressure patients should be careful when using this medication.
  • Cortisone has a blood sugar-raising effect. Diabetics should be careful when using this medicine and check their blood sugar more frequently during the day.
  • Cortisone use increases the risk of eye infection. People who currently have eye-related health problems should consult their doctor before starting cortisone treatment.
  • Liver and kidney patients, psychiatric patients, and people suffering from seizures should not use cortisone without the knowledge of a doctor.
  • The use of cortisone in pregnant and breastfeeding women is decided by considering the patient’s benefit and possible side effects. If the doctor decides that the benefits of cortisone therapy outweigh the possible risks, he or she may prescribe the medication.
  • Nutrition is also an issue that needs to be taken into consideration during cortisone treatment. Since cortisone can cause water and salt retention in the body, the person may need to restrict the amount of salt he or she consumes. Cortisone also has a weight-gaining effect. For this reason, it would be beneficial for those using cortisone medication not to exceed the amount of calories they need daily.
  • Cortisone is a drug used in the treatment of many different diseases. Although cortisone medications have side effects, the benefits they provide are critical for the person’s health. During cortisone treatment, it would be useful to be in constant communication with your doctor, carefully follow the doses you need to use, and inform your doctor about the side effects that occur due to the drug on your body.

Abbas Jahangir

I am a researcher and writer with a background in food and nutritional science. I am the founder of Foodstrend.com, our reputable online platform offering scientifically-backed articles on health, food, nutrition, kitchen tips, recipes, diet, and fitness. With a commitment to providing accurate and reliable information, we strive to empower our readers to make informed decisions about their health and lifestyle choices. Join us on Foodstrend.com's journey toward a healthier and happier lifestyle.

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