How Long is Immune System Compromised After Steroids?
Published March 7, 2022
Steroids, also known as corticosteroids, are synthetic versions of the hormones produced naturally by the adrenal glands located above the kidneys.
Types of Steroids
Corticosteroids have been available for a long time. The majority are now offered in generic versions, including the following:
Corticosteroids are available in the following types:
- Eye drops
- Nasal or mouth sprays
- Creams, ointments, gels, or lotions
How Steroids Works
Corticosteroids act in a similar way to hormones such as cortisol. Therefore, a doctor prescribes them to either return them to normal levels or boost these hormones’ action above normal levels.
When taken in doses greater than what your body generates naturally, steroids help reduce inflammation; this may be beneficial in treating inflammatory disorders.
Corticosteroids acts fast in the body, making them effective for treating severe symptoms. For example, they are capable of effectively managing allergic reactions.
Additionally, steroids suppress the immune system’s activity, which serves as our natural defense against infection and disease. This can aid in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, which happen when the immune system wrongly targets the body.
Corticosteroids can be used to treat the following conditions:
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Addison’s disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
Additionally, doctors can use them to treat patients recovering from organ transplantation.
Risks Associated Using Steroids
Corticosteroids suppress the immune system and can be detrimental to the body; this raises the concern of “how long is immune system compromised after steroids?” Therefore, corticosteroids are often prescribed when other treatments fail or when a fast response is needed.
Corticosteroids can cause hazardous blood sugar spikes in patients with diabetes.
Also, it may be harmful to individuals who have:
- Ongoing infections
- Large wounds
- Liver problems
- Heart-related problems
- High blood pressure
- Glaucoma or cataracts
- Substance use disorder
While corticosteroid use is allowed during pregnancy, there are often risks associated with corticosteroid use. As a result, doctors may choose to avoid prescribing them to pregnant women if possible.
Corticosteroids can decrease the effectiveness of certain drugs while increasing the potency of others. Before starting to use corticosteroids, people should inform their doctor if they are taking any of the following medications:
- Excessive blood clotting
Certain vaccines, including those for mumps, measles, and tuberculosis, can interact violently with corticosteroids. Other vaccines, like those against influenza or pneumonia, may be ineffective if a person is taking a high dose of a corticosteroid.
Corticosteroids may also interact negatively with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen.
Like the question of “how long is immune system compromised after steroids?” The side effects differ according to the type of corticosteroid used. For instance, a corticosteroid cream may have different side effects than a corticosteroid injection.
How Long is the Immune System Compromised?
For the question of how long do steroids affect your immune system, it depends on your DNA and immune system. Some individuals’ immune systems may be suppressed higher than yours.
Avoid supplements that claim to boost the immune system, particularly herbals like echinacea. Any substance used to enhance the immune system may interact with the medications you are taking.
For instance, the higher the prednisone dose you take, the more immune system suppression happens, especially at doses greater than 40 milligrams a day. That means that each individual’s body reacts differently with their immune system, and there are no medications to help in boosting immune system after prednisone usage.
The immune system protects your body from disease. When you abuse steroids, the immune system is compromised, making it more difficult for your body to fight diseases effectively. Due to the reduced level of your defenses, you may become ill more frequently and recover more slowly. In addition, steroid side effects can weaken your immune system, and no amount of supplementation can protect your immune system.
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About The Author
Krizzia Paolyn, is an SEO Specialist and author. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She started her career as a content writer for various digital magazines and renowned publications. It has always been her passion to share her voice, and at the same time, to encourage others to share their voices as well.