How Steroids Are Used In Leukemia Treatment

March 1, 2022 Off By Elaina Aleta

Cancer patient


The word steroid might cause you to consider “roid rage” or side effects in athletes, weightlifters, and bodybuilders who use them. But if your doctor prescribed a steroid such as the steroids Canada patients take as a part of your leukemia treatment, don’t be concerned. It is not “that” reasonably steroid. It’s a crucial cancer medicine.

Steroids are chemicals made normally by the body. Other steroids are manmade medicines. Both have many alternative jobs and help organs work properly. The foremost common steroids used include:

  • hydrocortisone
  • prednisone
  • methylprednisolone
  • dexamethasone

How Do Steroids Work?

Steroids can reduce inflammation (irritation and swelling) within the body. the body’s ability to fight infection is what sometimes they lower.

Steroids can help with leukemia treatment in a form of ways. They can:

  • as a part of chemotherapy, kill cancer cells and shrink tumors
  • decrease swelling
  • reduce hypersensitive reactions (before transfusions, for example)
  • reduce nausea from chemotherapy and radiation
  • caused by brain tumors, help headaches, or other symptoms

What Are the Side Effects of Steroids?

Steroids employed in medical treatments can have some side effects. ask your doctor and ask questions if you’ve got concerns.

You may not have any side effects. But if they are doing happen, they’ll only last as long as you’re taking the steroids. Things will return to normal pretty quickly when treatment stops.

Some side effects of steroid treatments that are more common include:

  • increased appetite
  • weight gain, often in unexpected places like the cheeks or the rear of the neck
  • mood swings
  • trouble sleeping
  • stomach upset or ulcers
  • osteoporosis (weaker bones)
  • higher pressure level
  • higher glucose than normal. Sometimes, people develop diabetes temporarily. If you have already got diabetes, you will need to try to do careful glucose level checks.
  • for girls, missed or late periods
  • bruising/stretch marks

Trouble fighting infections, acne flare-ups, and increased facial hair are what the less common side effects include.


ALSO READ: The Difference Between Healthy and Leukemia-Caused Weight Loss


How Do People Take Steroids?

For leukemia treatment, doctors can prescribe steroids in several ways:

  • by an injection into the muscle (IM)
  • through a vein (IV)
  • by mouth (orally) as a liquid or pill
  • as a cream applied to the skin

The doctors will provide you with all the small print, but there are some things to recollect once you take steroids orally for leukemia treatment. Steroids, both in the liquid and also pill form, have a bitter somewhat unpleasant taste.

For your to ensure not missing any doses:

  • Mix the liquid steroid in an exceedingly touch of a tasty liquid, like your favorite juice.
  • You can add some drops of flavoring, like sauce or peppermint, to the spoon of drugs.
  • Steroid pills are quite small and mixing them in applesauce or pudding can make them easier to require.

What Else Should I Know About Steroids?

Steroids can irritate the stomach. To guard it, you must take them with food in your stomach. Either prescribed or over the counter (such as Zantac, Pepcid, or Prilosec), the doctor might recommend stomach medicines. It would help to start out taking these medicines a pair of days before the steroids begin and continue taking them for some days after the steroids are done.

Don’t stop the steroids without your doctor’s advice. If you notice anything strange while you are taking the steroids, tell the doctor straight away. Sometimes, decreased slowly over time (described as being weaned or tapered) is a steroid medicine. Other times doctors may stop the steroids. If this happens, your body could bear a kind of withdrawal if it’s placed under a stressful situation sort of a new fever or infection.

A steroid card or medical alert bracelet is something you might have. Plenty of steroid treatments happen in an exceedingly doctor’s office or clinic. But some teens on long-term steroid treatment take pills reception and may need a steroid card or wear a medical alert bracelet. You ought to keep this card readily available or wear the medical alert bracelet the last few times. If there’s an emergency, the cardboard or bracelet will let doctors realize the steroids, which may change the treatment they furnish you.