Oral Corticosteroids for Atopic Dermatitis
How It Works
Corticosteroids are similar to natural substances the
body produces to help reduce
inflammation and itching. For
atopic dermatitis, corticosteroids reduce
inflammation, itching, and thickening of the skin (lichenification).
Why It Is Used
Oral corticosteroids are generally not recommended for controlling
atopic dermatitis. They are used only for severe cases of atopic dermatitis or
when topical agents (creams and ointments) and
antihistamines have not worked.
How Well It Works
Oral corticosteroids are often effective in reducing inflammation
and itching. A high initial dose usually gets rid of the rash quickly.
Side effects of oral corticosteroids include headache, indigestion,
increased appetite, restlessness, and increased risk of infection.
Skin rash, blurred vision, increased urination, excessive thirst,
and mood changes are side effects that should be reported to your doctor.
Side effects from long-term use can include:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference
is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
Corticosteroids are usually used in combination with preventive
measures, such as moisturizing your skin and avoiding skin irritants.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.