Quiz 68: Corticosteroids and Drugs Affecting the Adrenal Cortex

Nursing

As M has taken prednisolone for three months, the drug must be withdrawn gradually (sudden withdrawal should not be done) because prednisolone is a corticosteroid. Corticosteroids are clinically used for their immunosuppressant and anti-inflammatory properties. These drugs interfere with the metabolic functions of the body. Corticosteroids must be withdrawn slowly because their sudden withdrawal may cause the following withdrawal symptoms: • Weakness • Loss of or decreased appetite • Fatigue • Nausea and vomiting • Abdominal pain • Loss of weight

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID's) such as paracetamol, aspirin, and ibuprofen act through the inhibition of COX (cyclooxygenase) enzyme. They are the first choice of drugs for the treatment of mild to moderate pain. The COX family of enzymes catalyse conversion of arachidonic acid to prostaglandin H2. This prostaglandin is precursor for a number of pro-inflammatory compounds. The NSAID drugs inhibit the conversion of prostaglandin H2 to pro-inflammatory compounds.

Corticosteroids are clinically used for their immunosuppressant and anti-inflammatory properties. These drugs interfere with the metabolic functions of the body. Corticosteroids must be withdrawn slowly because their sudden withdrawal may cause adverse side-effects. The regular administration of corticosteroids for longer duration causes certain side effects. To assess these side effects in C, the following questions will be helpful. • Are you experiencing the swelling of feet and ankles • Any signs of indigestion and muscle weakness • Did you notice any behavioral changes such as confusion • Do you have a recent rise in body weight and menstrual irregularities (in case of women) • Are you experiencing any frequent infections (due to decreased immunity)

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