Long-term treatment with prednisone can cause a number of side effects, but you can take steps to help minimize them.
July 12, 2013
- Protect your bones. If you're taking cortisone, it's essential to get adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D to prevent bone loss and possible fractures. Ask your doctor how much vitamin D and calcium you need in your diet, and discuss whether or not you need to take any supplements.
- Exercise. Exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight, which is important when you're taking corticosteroid medications that can cause weight gain. Strength training and weight-bearing exercises such as walking and jogging also help improve bone health.
- Stop smoking. This is one of the most significant things you can do for your overall health. By itself, smoking causes serious health problems. It also makes problems you already have worse and can increase the side effects of medications you're taking.
- Adopt a healthy diet. Steroids can cause high blood sugar levels and eventually, type 2 diabetes. Emphasizing foods that help keep blood sugar stable, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, is helpful.
- Keep doctor appointments. During therapy for Churg-Strauss syndrome, your doctor will monitor you closely for side effects. This will likely include regular bone scans, eye exams, and tests for blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels. In addition, your doctor will look for signs of Churg-Strauss syndrome affecting new organs (relapse). Be sure to keep these appointments. If caught in time, it's possible to reverse many of the side effects resulting from steroid use.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed May 21, 2013.
- Vaglio A, et al. Churg-Strauss syndrome: Update on pathophysiology and treatment. Current Opinions in Rheumatology. 2012;24:24.
- Baldini C, et al. Clinical manifestations and treatment of Churg-Strauss syndrome. Rheumatic Disease Clinics of North America. 2010;36:527.
- Vaglio A, et al. Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Churg-Strauss): State of the art. Allergy. 2013;68:261.
- King TE Jr. Clinical features and diagnosis of eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Churg-Strauss). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 21, 2013.
- Paggiaro P, et al. Montelukast in asthma: A review of its efficacy and place in therapy. Therapeutic Advances in Chronic Disease. 2011;2:47.
- Bibby S, et al. Association between leukotriene receptor antagonist therapy and Churg-Strauss syndrome: An analysis of the FDA AERS database. Thorax. 2010;65:132.
- Imboden JB, et al. Current Rheumatology Diagnosis & Treatment. 2nd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2007. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=38. Accessed May 21, 2013.
- Medication and side effects. The Churg-Strauss Syndrome Association. http://www.cssassociation.org/medications-and-side-effects.html. Accessed May 25, 2013.
- King TE Jr. Treatment and prognosis of Churg-Strauss syndrome of eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Churg-Strauss). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 21, 2013.
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