ANTI-LEUKEMIA MEDICATION/SYMPTOM MANAGEMENT MEDICATION
Corticosteroids are a class of prescription drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat inflammation. Corticosteroids are sometimes used to treat people with leukemia.
The most common corticosteroids used to treat leukemia include Prednisone, Dexamethasone, Prednisolone, and Methylprednisolone. Corticosteroids can help fight leukemia in several ways. First, corticosteroids are believed to help kill leukemia cells on their own. Second, corticosteroids can boost the effectiveness of other anti-leukemia drugs such as those used in chemotherapy. Finally, corticosteroids can help reduce allergic reactions and side effects – such as nausea, vomiting, and neuropathy (nerve damage) – of other drugs used for leukemia.
How do I take it?
In cases of leukemia, corticosteroids are usually taken orally or injected. Take corticosteroids exactly as prescribed by the physician. It is important to taper off dosage with a doctor’s guidance before stopping corticosteroids.
The severity of corticosteroid side effects increases with dosage and long-term use.
Common side effects of corticosteroids include high blood sugar, fluid retention, mood swings, trouble sleeping, rounding of the face known as “moon face,” insomnia, euphoria, depression, anxiety, and mania. Psychological effects of corticosteroids may be moderated with attention to diet and avoiding fluctuations in blood glucose (blood sugar).
With long-term use, serious side effects caused by corticosteroids include increased susceptibility to infection, weight gain, vision changes, and, in children, slowed growth.
For more details about this treatment, visit:
Corticosteroids - Cleveland Clinic
Steroids for Treating Cancer – KidsHealth
Steroids for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia – Macmillan Cancer Support
Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL): Steroids – Cancer Research UK
Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL): Steroids – Cancer Research UK