Document Detail


Update on systemic glucocorticosteroids in dermatology.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11155587     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Although dermatology now has the most extensive group of systemic medications available for the treatment of skin diseases at any time, GCSs remain the most important agents for managing inflammatory disorders. It is important that the dermatologist have a broad knowledge of guidelines for clinical use, pharmacology, and adverse effects of these drugs. Acute and chronic side reactions should be well recognized. An understanding of the HPA axis and reasons for administering GCSs in different ways is of great value. A good medical history should be taken on any patient treated with GCSs, including knowledge of conditions that would make GCSs inadvisable and other concomitant systemic medications that might produce drug interactions. During the course of therapy, physical examination should include all systems pertinent to side effects caused by these agents, including frequent evaluations of weight and blood pressure. Blood chemistries should be performed on a regular basis, including glucose, electrolytes, and serum lipids. Osteoporosis is one of the most significant adverse affects to be evaluated, with bone mineral density studies recommended on an annual basis for persons continuing on GCS therapy. If hip or other joint pain develops, MR imaging is the most specific and sensitive radiologic examination for evaluating the possibility of osteonecrosis. An ophthalmology examination should be performed every 6 to 12 months to detect early cataract or glaucoma development. Any early signs of infection should be evaluated by appropriate smears, wet preparations, and cultures. Many other studies, including gastrointestinal and pulmonary examinations, may be dictated by specific acute situations. It is important to begin early prevention of the bone loss that occurs with GCS-induced osteoporosis. The 1996 guidelines of the American College of Rheumatology, including adequate calcium and vitamin D intake, should be followed. Hormonal replacement, a bisphosphonate, calcitonin, or a thiazide diuretic may be indicated. Restriction of sodium in the diet is important, as well as adequate potassium intake. The diet should be low in saturated fat and calories and should be high in vegetable protein. Because osteoporosis is so prevalent with GCSs, keeping the patient as active as possible with mild-to-moderate exercise is important. Whenever possible, exposure to persons with infectious processes should be avoided, and proper treatment should be instituted at the initial signs of systemic or cutaneous infection. Oral doses of GCSs are best taken with food to prevent gastrointestinal irritation, and agents for gastric acidity occasionally may be indicated. Significant trauma should be prevented, as should severe exposure to the sun. Many situations may call for consultation with other medical or surgical subspecialists. The patient must be aware of the importance of regular physician evaluations and reporting of any adverse effects while on long-term GCSs. A good relationship and understanding between the patient and physician are vital in minimizing potential problems from these agents. If the dermatologist maintains the proper guidelines of care, patients on GCSs have the highest benefits and lowest risks possible.
Authors:
L C Williams; L T Nesbitt
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Dermatologic clinics     Volume:  19     ISSN:  0733-8635     ISO Abbreviation:  Dermatol Clin     Publication Date:  2001 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-01-11     Completed Date:  2001-03-01     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8300886     Medline TA:  Dermatol Clin     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  63-77     Citation Subset:  IM    
Affiliation:
Department of Dermatology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Drug Interactions
Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage*,  adverse effects,  pharmacology,  therapeutic use
Humans
Skin Diseases / drug therapy*
Chemical
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Glucocorticoids

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine


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