Why can't I just stop my steroids?

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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Why can't I just stop my steroids?
« on: 11/12/2008 11:52:18 »
I'm on a course of Prednisolone at the moment - again. Why is it that the dosage has to be slowly decreased? Why are steroids different from other medications that you simply stop taking after a time?
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Offline RD

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Why can't I just stop my steroids?
« Reply #1 on: 13/12/2008 16:43:53 »
The steroid medication stops your adrenal glands from producing similar essential steroids.

Tapering off the steroid medication allows your steroid production to slowly return to normal.

Suddenly stopping steroid medication would leave you without sufficient essential steroids and could cause a potentially fatal condition called adrenal crisis ...

Quote
Secondary adrenocortical insufficiency occurs when exogenous steroids have suppressed the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.
Too rapid withdrawal of exogenous steroid may precipitate adrenal crisis
http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/116716-overview

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[adrenal] crisis can be fatal. It is a medical emergency, usually requiring hospitalization. Characteristic symptoms are:

Sudden penetrating pain in the legs, lower back or abdomen
Severe vomiting and diarrhea, resulting in dehydration
Low blood pressure
Loss of consciousness/Syncope
Hypoglycemia
Confusion, psychosis
Severe lethargy
Convulsions
Fever
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrenal_crisis#Addisonian_crisis
« Last Edit: 13/12/2008 16:51:34 by RD »

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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Why can't I just stop my steroids?
« Reply #2 on: 13/12/2008 16:50:00 »
Bugger that!  [:0]
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