Taking Steroids on Doctor’s Advice
The term “steroid” may conjure images of “roid anger” or adverse side effects in athletes, weightlifters, and bodybuilders. Don’t be concerned if your doctor orders a steroid as part of your child’s cancer therapy. It isn’t “that” kind of anabolic steroid. It’s a necessary cancer treatment.
The most common steroids used include:
What Are the Effects of Steroids?
Steroids can help to reduce inflammation (swelling and irritation) in the body. They can reduce the body’s ability to fight infection in some cases.
Steroids can aid in the treatment of cancer in a variety of ways:
- As part of chemotherapy, they can destroy cancer cells and decrease tumours.
- Reduce oedema.
- Allergic responses are reduced (before transfusions, for example).
- Chemotherapy and radiation can cause nausea.
- aid with headaches and other symptoms of brain tumours
What Are the Steroids’ Side Effects?
The following are some of the most common steroids adverse effects:
- increased desire to eat
- Weight gain, especially around the cheeks and the back of the neck, is typical.
- fluctuations in mood
- sleeping problems
- ulcers or stomach upset
- osteoporosis is a disease that affects the bones (weaker bones)
- Blood pressure is more significant, and blood sugar is higher than normal. People can get diabetes for a short period. If your child already has diabetes, make sure you keep a close eye on their blood sugar levels.
- Missed or late menstruation for females
- stretch marks/bruising
- Problems battling infections, acne flare-ups, and increased facial hair are some of the less typical side effects.
What Is the Best Way to Take Steroids?
Steroids can be prescribed for cancer treatment in a variety of methods by doctors:
either intramuscular injection (IM), intravenous injection (IV), or by mouth (orally) as a liquid or pill, or as a cream applied to the skin
The physicians will tell you everything, but there are a few things to consider if your child is on oral steroids for cancer therapy. Whether in liquid or tablet form, steroids have a bitter, unappealing flavour.
For ensuring your child doesn’t miss any dosage, follow these steps:
Mix a little liquid steroid with a pleasant drink, such as your child’s favourite juice. You can flavour the medicine with a few drops of chocolate syrup or peppermint extract.
What Should I Know About Steroids Besides the Above Information?
Steroids might cause stomach irritation. Your child needs to take them with food in his stomach to protect it. The doctor may prescribe or recommend over-the-counter gastrointestinal medications (such as Zantac, Pepcid, or Prilosec). It may be beneficial for your child to begin taking these medications a few days before the commencement of the steroids and to continue taking them for a few days after the steroids have been completed.
Do not discontinue taking steroids without consulting your doctor. Inform your doctor immediately if you notice anything unusual while your child is on the steroids. Steroid medication is sometimes gradually reduced over time (weaning or tapered). Other times, doctors may discontinue the use of steroids. If this happens, your child’s body may go into withdrawal if they are put in a stressful setting, such as a new fever or infection.
Many steroid treatments are administered at a doctor’s office or clinic. However, some children and teenagers on long-term steroid therapy take medications at home. They might be wearing a medical alert bracelet or have a steroid card.