Corticosteroids, also called steroids, are medicines used to treat symptoms caused by inflammation, such as swelling and irritation. Some conditions caused by inflammation include:
If your child has an organ transplant, such as a kidney or heart, he may take steroids to keep his body from rejecting the transplanted organ.
Steroids may be used for only a few days, or they may be used for several months or years.
Your child should not stop taking a steroid without your provider's approval. You may have to lower your child’s dosage slowly before stopping it to prevent side effects.
Corticosteroids block the chemicals that the body makes that cause swelling and irritation. In some doses, they can change the way the immune system works.
You don’t need a prescription to buy mild forms of the medicine, such as skin cream with a low amount (1%) of hydrocortisone. However, you need a prescription from your child’s healthcare provider for most steroids.
If you have any questions, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information. Keep all appointments for provider visits or tests.