Corticosteroids for Polymyalgia Rheumatica or Giant Cell Arteritis
All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.
Here are some important things to think about:
- Usually the benefits of the medicine are more important than any minor side effects.
- Side effects may go away after you take the medicine for a while.
- If side effects still bother you and you wonder if you should keep taking the medicine, call your doctor. He or she may be able to lower your dose or change your medicine. Do not suddenly quit taking your medicine unless your doctor tells you to.
Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you have:
- Trouble breathing.
- Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor if you have:
- Signs of an infection, such as a sore throat, fever, sneezing, or coughing.
- Belly pain, nausea, or vomiting that won't go away.
- Bloody or black, tarry stools.
- Rapid weight gain.
- Changes in your eyes, including blurred vision or eye pain.
- Muscle cramps, pain, or weakness.
- Changes in skin, including acne or reddish purple lines.
- Increased thirst, especially with frequent urination.
Common side effects of this medicine include:
- Increased appetite.
- Nervousness or restlessness.
With long-term use, common side effects may include:
- Weight gain.
- Mood changes.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Bruising easily
- Loss of bone calcium and bone thinning (Reference osteoporosis Opens New Window).
- Increased risk of bacteria infections and certain viruses, such as Reference shingles Opens New Window. Corticosteroids weaken the Reference immune system Opens New Window.
- Reference High blood pressure Opens New Window.
- Problems with blood sugar levels (Reference diabetes Opens New Window).
Uncommon side effects include:
- Vision problems (Reference cataracts Opens New Window).
- Muscle weakness.
- Softening of a bone in a joint (Reference avascular necrosis Opens New Window or osteonecrosis).
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: May 14, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Stanford M. Shoor, MD - Rheumatology