PHARMACYKNOWLEDGE.CO.UK - FREE RPSGB and GPhC UK Pre Reg Past exam paper questions, answers AND revision guide

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Clinical - Steroids

Basic facts about steroids
- The adrenal cortex secretes hydrocortisone (cortisol)
- There are two types of steroid activity minerlocorticoid and glucocorticoid activity.
- Long term treatment of steroids (for the 3 weeks) require a steroid card as side effects and adverse effects are more likely to occur in long term treatment.
- steroids can be injected or taken orally. Other dosage forms include nasal sprays and inhalers.
- Addison's disease and hypopituatism is causes/due to steroid deficiency
- Steroids have various uses such as in asthma, eczma, stress, and in some cases as an anti-emetic
- cortisol is secreted in times of stress and decrease the stress response.
- steroids can suppress the immune system, can may cause an increase risk of infection, this is one reason why they are used for autoimmune disorders such as eczema.

Questions
1.  Which one of the following side-effects of hydrocortisone is caused by its mineralocorticoid activity

A. osteoporosis
B. diabetes
C. muscle wasting
D. hypertension
E. depression

Answers
1.
The mineralocorticoid activity of hydrocortisone causes sodium and water retention which can result in hypertenstion.
Answer is D.

Side-effects of steroids
The side effects of steroids can be split into two categories mineralcorticoid and glucocorticoid.

Mineralcorticoid side-effect
- hypertension, sodium and water retention and potassium loss.

Glucocorticoid side-effects
- Diabetes
- Osteoporosis
- Muscle wasting
- Immunosupression
- Cushing's syndrome

 

 
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