Charting a Corticosteroid Course: The Benefits and Side Effects of Prednisone and Deflazacort

Corticosteroids are useful treatments for some neuromuscular diseases, but finding the right medication and dosing schedule isn't always smooth sailing

Article Highlights:
  • This package of articles looks at the use of corticosteroids in autoimmune neuromuscular disorders and in Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
  • In addition to describing the benefits of corticosteroids and research on their use in Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the articles take a practical look at coping with side effects.
by Margaret Wahl on May 7, 2007 - 1:58pm

QUEST Vol. 14, No. 3

Corticosteroids (also known as glucocorticoids) that are commonly used to treat neuromuscular disorders include prednisone, prednisolone and deflazacort. All are powerful medications that suppress the immune system and decrease inflammation.

Corticosteroids been used for many years to treat autoimmune disorders in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the body's own tissues. Autoimmune disorders in MDA's program that are treated with corticosteroids include polymyositis, dermatomyositis, inclusion-body myositis, myasthenia gravis and Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome 

Corticosteroids also are used to prolong muscle function in boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

Although they have significant benefits, corticosteroids also have significant side effects. Minimizing the side effects while maximizing the benefits of corticosteroids is a continuing challenge.

Articles in this package include:

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