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What are the side effects of oral steroids?

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Common side effects of oral steroids include:

  • Acne
  • Blurred vision
  • Cataracts or glaucoma
  • Easy bruising
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased appetite, weight gain
  • Increased growth of body hair
  • Insomnia
  • Lower resistance to infection
  • Muscle weakness
  • Nervousness, restlessness
  • Osteoporosis
  • Stomach irritation or bleeding
  • Sudden mood swings
  • Swollen, puffy face
  • Water retention, swelling
  • Worsening of diabetes

SOURCES: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: "Rheumatoid Arthritis Medicines: A Guide for Adults." UpToDate for Patients: "Patient Information: Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment." The Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center: "Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment." AGS Foundation for Health in Aging: "Arthritis Pain." Medline Plus: "Cushing Syndrome."




Reviewed by David Zelman on October 31, 2019

SOURCES: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: "Rheumatoid Arthritis Medicines: A Guide for Adults." UpToDate for Patients: "Patient Information: Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment." The Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center: "Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment." AGS Foundation for Health in Aging: "Arthritis Pain." Medline Plus: "Cushing Syndrome."




Reviewed by David Zelman on October 31, 2019

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Does everyone have side effects from steroids to treat arthritis?

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