Corticosteroid drugs (also known as glucocorticoids) act like the naturally occurring adrenal hormone cortisone in the body. They are strong anti-inflammatory and immune-suppressant medications used in many inflammatory and autoimmune conditions, such as
Drugs in this family include:
- Betamethasone (Celestone)
- Cortisone acetate (Cortone Acetate)
- Dexamethasone (Decadron, Dexameth, Dexone, Hexadrol)
- Hydrocortisone (Cortef, Hydrocortone)
- Methylprednisolone (Medrol)
- Prednisolone (Delta-Cortef, Pediapred, Prelone)
- Prednisone (Deltasone, Liquid Pred, Meticorten, Orasone, Panasol-S, Prednicen-M, Sterapred DS)
- Triamcinolone (Aristocort, Atolone, Kenacort)
- And others
One of the most serious side effects of long-term corticosteroid use is accelerated osteoporosis. Although we don't fully understand how this works, corticosteroid interference with calcium and vitamin D is known to play a major role.
Calcium and vitamin D supplements are definitely beneficial for fighting ordinary
Supplementation Possibly Helpful
Long-term, high-dose corticosteroid treatment can cause diabetes. This may be at least partly caused by chromium deficiency. A very preliminary study found treatment with corticosteroids caused increased loss of chromium in the urine.
Possible Harmful Interaction
The supplement ipriflavone is used to treat osteoporosis. A 3-year, double-blind trial of almost 500 women, as well as a small study, found worrisome evidence that ipriflavone can reduce white blood cell count in some people.
3. Buckley LM, Leib ES, Cartularo KS, et al. Calcium and vitamin D 3 supplementation prevents bone loss in the spine secondary to low-dose corticosteroids in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Ann Intern Med. 125: 961-968, 1996.
15. Roy BD, Bourgeois JM, Mahoney DJ, et al. Dietary supplementation with creatine monohydrate prevents corticosteroid-induced attenuation of growth in young rats. Can J Physiol Pharmacol . 2002;80:1008-1014.
Last reviewed April 2009 by EBSCO CAM Review Board
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