Glucocorticoid Therapy

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In general, low dosage Glucocorticoid therapy has minor side effects associated with it; however more serious side effects may also result from high dosage or prolonged administration.
Short-term side effects include:
• High blood pressure
• Glaucoma
• Diabetes
• stomach irritation
• an increase in cholesterol and triglycerides
• potassium deficiency
• agitation
• growth or increased growth of facial hair
• irritability and psychosis Long-term side effects include
• thinning of the bones
• cataracts
• avascular necrosis
• premature atherosclerosis
• Muscle weakness.
Examples of more serious side effects
Glycosuria is a condition where detectable traces of glucose are found in the urine even when blood glucose concentration is
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These problems arise from increased pressure on the blood vessels, which put increased pressure on the arteries and an overall increased pressure on the heart. This may lead to a difficulty in controlling blood circulation and blood pressure throughout the bodily cells and organs.
Glaucoma develops when a fluid called aqueous humour within the eyes cannot drain properly and pressure builds up, known as the intraocular pressure. Under normal circumstances, the fluid would be drained out of the eyes through tubes. This can damage the optic nerve and also the nerve fibres from the Retina. The Retina is the layer of light-sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye.
Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones are weakened. It is a change in bone density resulting from an interference with the regulation of calcium and phosphate metabolism and collagen turnover. Glucocorticoid therapy results in an increase in the activity of osteoclasts (which digest the bone matrix) and a reduction in osteoblast activity (which deposits bone matrix).
Juvenile Growth
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