Steroids methylprednisolone

Don't stop taking your medicine without talking to your doctor. Common examples include prednisolone, betamethasone and dexamethasone. Steroids are a man-made version of hormones normally produced by the adrenal glands, two small glands found above the kidneys.

  • The guideline contains a full list of the sources of evidence we have used.
  • If you're taking high doses of steroids, or if you're on them for more than three weeks, you'll need to carry a steroid card.
  • Avoid close contact with people who’ve recently had live vaccines taken by mouth (oral vaccines) such as oral polio or the typhoid vaccine.
  • It’s sometimes necessary for steroid tablets to be taken for longer periods.

Steroids don't tend to cause significant side effects if they're taken for a short time or at a low dose. If you do need a steroid card, make sure you always carry it with you. If you lose it, you can get a replacement from your pharmacy or GP.

If you have Acute Severe Ulcerative Colitis (ASUC)

The above side-effects may affect some people who take steroids. There is a balance between the risk of side-effects against the symptoms and damage that may result if not treated. Side effects usually improve with a lower dose and/or stopping steroids.

Your treatment plan is tailored specifically to you and your individual situation. Your medical team will give you advice about how and when to take your steroid medication. Avoid contact with people who have chicken pox or shingles, even if you have had these infections in the past – they could be serious if you have lymphoma and are on steroids.

Are there any reasons why I won’t be prescribed steroids?

Steroids can increase the number of white blood cells in your blood. Take your tablets after a meal or with milk as they can irritate your stomach. Steroids taken for a long time can also cause your muscles to become weaker, and they might occasionally affect periods in women. It’s important that you don’t stop taking steroids without speaking to the person treating you first.

If your symptoms are not well controlled, even while taking other treatments, your doctor may prescribe a longer course of steroid tablets. If you need two or more short courses of steroid tablets in a year, or your symptoms come back once you’ve finished the course, you should ask your GP for a referral to a specialist clinic. The steroids in asthma medicines lower your risk of having an asthma attack.

Am I more likely to catch colds and viruses if I’m on steroids?

This means that doctors will need to give you extra corticosteroids. If you’re worried about any side effects, ask your GP or asthma nurse for advice as soon as possible. For example, if you have an upset stomach after taking steroids, your GP may suggest taking the tablet with meals or after food.

Changes to your face and appearance (Cushing's syndrome)

This leaflet is about the use of these medicines in the UK, and may not apply to other countries. It is unlikely that your child will have side-effects if they only take prednisolone for a few days. They are more likely to get side-effects if they are on a high dose, have extra doses or take prednisolone for a long time.

Do not stop taking corticosteroids suddenly if you have been taking them for more than three weeks. Your body normally makes its own steroid chemicals and when you take steroid tablets your body may reduce or stop making its own steroid chemicals. Your child’s face may appear rounder than usual, particularly after long-term steroid treatment.