Steroids are artificial hormone components designed to support the natural hormonal function of the body. The dosage of the steroid should be as prescribed by the health care provider. The intake of steroids is through various modes like oral, injections, creams, and ointments as per the requirement. To reduce the risk of side effects, steroids would usually be prescribed for the shortest duration, which is possible. As the symptoms of illness start to subside, you may be suggested with a reduced dosage or a new weak medication. Prior consultation of the health care provider is always recommended before starting and stopping the medication.
A sudden withdrawal of steroids is likely to show withdrawal symptoms as side effects. So a maintenance dose which is very small comparatively should be taken to ensure that your symptoms do not return.
Liquids and soluble tablets: Usually once a day in the morning with or without food.
Creams and gels: Once or twice a day for a few weeks, but an extended period. The skin area, which is affected has to be treated with creams or gels.
Eye drops: Regularly throughout the day with one drop in each eye.
Types of intake
Orally: In the form of tablets, liquids, and dissolvable tablets. These are prescribed to reduce inflammation symptoms throughout the body.
Injections: Maybe into a joint, muscle, blood, or spinal cord to reduce inflammation in the particular area of the body where it is injected.
Eye drops:To reduce inflammation in the eyes.
Skin: In the form of cream or gel. These are also called topical steroids. The intention is to reduce inflammation of the skin.
Patterns of medication
Stacking: Combining more number of steroids and mixing oral and injectable types.
Pyramiding: Increasing the dose slowly, reaching a peak dosage, and gradually decreasing to zero.
Plateauing: Overlapping or substituting a steroid with another steroid to avoid developing a tolerance by the body.
These patterns have to be followed, as recommended by the doctor to avoid significant side effects. It is to be noted that steroids are gender specific and age specific. Steroids have different names like chemical name, trade name, and a street name with which it is familiar with.