Glucocorticoids are corticosteroid hormones that work with the immune system to treat a wide range of health complications including inflammation. Although the human body produces its glucocorticoids, there are some cases the production is low and thus the need to use the synthetic version, which works just as the natural glucocorticoids. The natural glucocorticoids are hormones that are secreted by adrenal cortex due to biological or environmental stress. Consequently, the long-term use of these drugs may have adverse health effects on an individual’s health. Although they are categorized as steroids, they have different functionality compared to those used by athletes to build and increase their muscles.
The glucocorticoid corticosteroids are medical drugs used to treat various conditions such as leukemia, lupus, hemolytic anemia, severe psoriasis, and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (Elenkov, 2014). In addition, the drug is used in the treatment of conditions that are related to low immune system such as asthma, bronchitis, some skin rashes, and allergies. Moreover, the manufactured glucocorticoids which include dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, and prednisone are used in the treatment of immunodeficiency conditions, including asthma and dermatitis. The corticosteroids are useful in people who have undergone organ transplant as they play a significant role to ensure that appendage is not rejected by the body (Liou, 2010). In addition, the steroid is useful in treating diseases that may cause loss of salt in the body. Lastly, the drug is also used in the management of low blood pressure even if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have not approved it.
The drug usually affects most of the body organs, cells, and tissue, leading to several side effects, including increased blood pressure, high cholesterol and glucose levels as the body tries to adjust to the new medicine (Rhen & Cidlowski, 2005). The use of glucocorticoids may result to water retention, which is likely to cause swelling of hands, lower legs, and feet. In addition, the steroid may increase appetite, which may result in weight gain. Consequently, continued use of the medicine may cause the growth of unwanted hair, dizziness, headache, and mood swings. In addition, the use of the drug may cause cataracts, glaucoma, and acne as well as reduce collagen (Liou, 2010). Lastly, since the drug is used to suppress the immune system, a patient is likely to get sick easily, and wounds may take longer than normal to heal. Worth noting is that the medicine was developed in laboratories for pharmaceutical purposes and it has the same capabilities as that of the natural glucocorticoid (Ray, Foster, & Lardy, 2004). Therefore, it is necessary for individuals who are likely to have the glucocorticoid prescription to talk to their doctor about any other condition such as high blood pressure or diabetes before they start using the drug.
Glucocorticoids are group of steroids that are medically used to treat certain conditions and should only be prescribed by a medical practitioner. The drug is commonly used in the treatment of complications that are related to low immune system, including asthma, allergies, and skin rashes. In cases of an organ transplant, the drug is administered to manage post-transplant challenges. On the other hand, the drug has serious side effects and a physician should closely monitor its usage. The body can produce glucocorticoids naturally, but when the body is unable to secrete enough substance, an oral intake or through injections might be required.