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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 73  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 218--221

Minimizing side effects of systemic corticosteroids in children

Department of Pediatrics, Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai - 400012, India

Correspondence Address:
C T Deshmukh
Baug-E-Sara, Ground Floor, 16 Nepean Sea Road, Mumbai - 400 036
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0378-6323.33633

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Corticosteroids are potent drugs used in management of various inflammatory and autoimmune disorders. The antiinflammatory effects of corticosteroids cannot however be separated from their metabolic effects. Children are more vulnerable to their side effects, particularly the effects on growth, immunity and adrenal suppression. It is essential for the treating physician to be aware of the side effects and the measures to be taken to minimize them. A side effect that is unique to children is growth suppression, which is helped by alternate day treatment. Administration of small doses of prednisolone (10-15 mg/day or < 0.5 mg/kg/day single dose) on alternate days, does not slow growth velocity significantly. The potency of dexamethasone and betamethasone in suppressing growth is nearly 18 times higher than that of prednisolone. There is some evidence that the administration of growth hormone can reverse these changes.


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Online since 15th March '04
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow