For what conditions are systemic corticosteroids used?
Corticosteroids belonging to the glucocorticoid class influence the body system in several ways, but they are used mostly for their strong anti-inflammatory effects and in conditions that are related to the immune system function such as:
- arthritis (for example, rheumatoid arthritis),
- colitis (ulcerative colitis, and Crohn's disease),
- some situations involving skin rashes,
- allergic or inflammatory conditions involving the nose and eyes.
Glucocorticoid corticosteroids are used to treat systemic lupus, severe psoriasis, leukemia, lymphomas, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, and autoimmune hemolytic anemia. These corticosteroids also are used to suppress the immune system and prevent rejection in people who have undergone organ transplant as well as many other conditions.
Fludrocortisone (Florinef), a potent systemic oral mineralocorticoid corticosteroid is used to treat Addison's disease and diseases that cause salt loss as in congenital adrenal hyperplasia. It also is used commonly to treat conditions of low blood pressure (hypotension) although this is not a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved indication.
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