Anti-inflammatory drugs help fight inflammation.
There are two major types of anti-inflammatory drugs:
- anti-inflammatory steroids (derivatives of cortisol and cortisone):
- with short-term effects: including prednisone, prednisolone, methylprednisolone,
- with intermediate effects,
- with long-term effects : betamethasone, dexamethasone and others;
- anti-inflammatory drugs, including the most famous: aspirin.
Indications and uses
Anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids have many medical indications and uses, the most important being:
- in cases of severe inflammation, especially in chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and some severe allergies;
- immunosuppressive action, which reduces the efficiency of the body's defense against aggression, useful for illnesses of body systems or following an organ transplant to limit rejection by the organism;
- in addition to certain chemotherapy treatments.
Anti-inflammatory drugs are effective, but are not without side effects. The main ones are:
- skin reactions (skin deterioration or the appearance of acne...);
- weight gain;
- higher risk of infections due to a decreased immunity risk;
- problems with vision (or even the development of cataracts after taking the drugs for several months or years);
- new or worsening diabetic condition;
- digestive problems (including ulcers);
- the appearance or increasing of hypertension;
- weakening of the bones (osteoporosis);
- psychiatric problems (hyperarousal and depression) ...
Due to the violent reactions that can be triggered by anti-inflammatory drugs, they must be prescribed by a doctor.
Anti-inflammatory drugs should be taken under medical prescription and the patient should follow a few simple rules and precautions. A long-term treatment requires increased surveillance.
- It is necessary to stick to a low sodium diet and to sometimes take a potassium supplement.
- When taking anti-inflammatory drugs in the long term, prevent bone loss by taking supplements of calcium and vitamin D.
- Remain vigilant in case of fever or suspected infection, as anti-inflammatory drugs may cover up fever.
- If you need to stop the steroid treatment, don't stop immediately, but rather cut the medication out little by little.
Original article published by
. Translated by Jeff