All hormones in the adrenal cortex are steroids naturally synthesized from cholesterol that is made in the liver. The adrenal cortex produces three main hormones, two of which are synthetically made for pharmacological purposes: glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids. Glucocorticoids are hydrocortisones and mineralocorticoids that regulate the metabolism of minerals, particularly useful for balancing fluids and electrolytes. Systemic steroids refer specifically to those produced for systemic effect, stimulating a general response as opposed to a topical steroid managed on the skin in the form of a cream. Steroids that act systemically or are taken orally in tablet or syrup form, or administered by intramuscular injection; in addition,
As medications used to reduce inflammation symptoms such as itching and redness, hydrocortisones include a number of medications indicated for eczema, asthma and arthritis. This classification of systemic steroids include hydrocortisone, prednisone and methylprednisolone, all of which are synthesized to behave much like cortisol, a glucocorticoid hormone normally present in minimal quantities produced by the adrenal glands. Cortisol increases glucose production and fat breakdown. More importantly, the immune response that is accompanied by inflammation and hypersensitivity is also suppressed.
Dextamethasone and fluocortolone belong to the betamethasone category of systemic steroids. A very powerful drug, dextamethasone is particularly indicated for the treatment of allergies, colitis, and autoimmune diseases, including lupus, a group of diseases that generally affect all body systems characterized by joint, muscle pain, and fatigue. . While fluocortolone is typically used topically in the form of cream or eye drops, it is also taken orally in the form of tablets in the countries of Germany, Africa and Turkey. Commonly prescribed for asthma and skin conditions, adverse reactions from fluocortolone can cause symptoms to worsen.
Systemic steroid steroids include triamcinolone acetonide, a drug best known for its antipruritic and anti-inflammatory properties. It is indicated for dermatological conditions, including dermatitis, eczema, allergies and other related problems. Its potency is most notable, as triamcinolone acetonide is eight times the strength of prednisone and is commonly used in the treatment of cancer. Available as an inhaler, injection, or in the form of tablets, patients prescribed this drug orally should take it with milk or a meal as it can cause gastrointestinal discomfort or may be instructed to adhere to a specific diet such as a low content salt or high – Concentrate. Nausea, vomiting, and acne are side effects of using triamcinolone acetate.
Sometimes systemic steroids are prescribed for people who have a deficiency in steroid production such as Addison’s disease, a condition resulting from adrenal gland damage generally caused by infections or autoimmune diseases. Typically prescribed for the treatment of Addison’s disease, fludrocortisone acetate has very powerful mineralocorticoid properties and is administered to patients for this purpose only. Taken as a tablet, fludrocortisone acetate has some side effects, including sodium retention and increased blood pressure.