According to a survey of the German skin and allergy help set 84 percent of respondents cortisone especially with strong side effects equal, 48 percent would prefer to dispense with the drug even in acute cases. Not infrequently avoids cerebral anxiety a meaningful, sometimes even life-saving therapy.

That was not always so. When the first patient received cortisone nearly fifty years ago, many considered it a panacea. The new drug helped rheumatism sufferers seemingly effortlessly bounce back. It was followed by a veritable cortisone euphoria. But it soon became apparent that cortisone also caused a lot of damage. Those who wanted to benefit from the positive characteristics obviously had to accept considerable side effects.

Meanwhile, the methods of medical professionals are becoming increasingly sophisticated. You can fine-tune the dose to the patients and so at least reduce the side effects. New treatment concepts and preparations also enable a more targeted application. In creams and ointments cortisone is now even available without prescription for short-term applications.

What is cortisone?

Cortisone is a vital endogenous hormone produced in the adrenal gland. It regulates parts of the metabolism. Because it is needed primarily as a response of the body to external stress, cortisone is also called stress hormone.

How does cortisone work?

Cortisone combats inflammation, no matter where in the body they are. However, it does not heal, but calms the symptoms. No other drug relieves internal and external signs of inflammation such as redness and pain as fast as this remedy. It also suppresses excessive reactions of the immune system and makes the body's defensive activities - which can also target its own tissue - less aggressive. Cortisone reduces the number of inflammatory cells at the site of action. Thus, inflammatory foci are contained, complaints such as itching, pustules, eczema subsides.

In which diseases is cortisone prescribed?

Chronic diseases, which are associated with inflammatory reactions, among others, are treated with cortisone. Although inflammations are not causes, but only concomitants of the diseases, they can cause irreversible damage to organs and tissues. This affects people who suffer from allergies, asthma, inflammatory rheumatism, chronic intestinal inflammation or atopic dermatitis. Detailed information about cortisone in the treatment of rheumatism in Rheumatism Online.

For many chronic diseases, the causes are unknown. That's why there are no therapies or medications that could tackle the root of the problem. In such cases, lifelong cortisone therapy is sometimes required because the dangerous inflammatory reactions flare up again as soon as the drug is discontinued.

What harmful side effects can occur?

Those who hear the word cortisone initially think of side effects like swollen moon faces. They sometimes occur at the beginning of treatment with high-dose tablets or syringes, but disappear again as soon as the dose is lowered enough.

Only if one uses too long and too much cortisone, the thus set in motion metabolic reactions cause permanent damage. Under the influence of cortisone, for example, an osteoporosis, the term for bone decalcification, or a thin parchment skin develop. Other possible unwanted effects include weight gain, increased blood pressure, cortisone in children can inhibit the growth of length. An effect on the psyche is also possible, especially in higher concentrations, euphoric moods as well as depression can occur. That may sound frightening, but do not panic if you have a cortisone treatment. Because such serious side effects can usually be largely avoided today. Nevertheless, one should first try it for many diseases with the gentle methods of naturopathy.

Why are the side effects no longer so bad today?

Earlier cortisone therapies resembled cannon bombardment. In the meantime, physicians have developed high-precision procedures with which they can target inflammatory foci in a more targeted manner. Side effects can now be reduced to a minimum:

  • In long-term therapy, the dosage is adjusted individually to the individual patient.
  • As far as possible, short-acting preparations are also taken during the long-term therapy at the right time of the day, preferably in the morning before eight o'clock. Then the body metabolism does not get so easily out of joint.
  • Children are given a double dose only every other day. This prevents inhibition of growth in length.
  • In stroke therapy, cortisone is always taken for short periods of time. If the treatment lasts no longer than five days, even very high cortisone doses are usually without risk

Can one become dependent on cortisone?

A dependency or a habituation effect only occurs in rare cases, even after years of use. If a patient takes a cortisone drug for an extended period of time, the adrenal gland may temporarily discontinue its hormone productivity. Therefore, one should not abruptly discontinue the drug, but must cull it over weeks or even months.

Internal and external application

Cortisone does not always have to be swallowed or injected immediately, often the local application helps. For the treatment of inflammatory skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis recommend ointments, for asthma and allergic rhinitis help sprays for inhalation or inhalation, and for the eyes there are cortisone-containing drops. The advantage of local application: Cortisone does not get through the bloodstream, but directly to where it burns in the body.

When do over-the-counter cortisone creams help?

The low-dose creams and ointments (main active ingredient: hydrocortisone) are less aggressive on the whole, but also less effective and therefore more compatible than tablets or syringes. These preparations are recommended for hives, eczema, irritated itchy skin, wasp stings, and sun or nickel allergies. However, like all cortisone preparations, they do not help with bacterial infections or fungal infections. Although they are freely available, it is not recommended to use for an extended period of time. Anyone who does not know exactly what causes the redness and irritation should have them examined by the dermatologist.

Cortisone Basics: The Lowdown from the Expert - Dr. Hamid (March 2023).

Cortisone, side effect, cortisone

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