When used in high doses, a small amount of the medication is absorbed into the bloodstream and some side effects beyond the mouth and throat may develop. The most likely to be encountered are easy bruisability of the skin and suppression of the adrenal glands. The significance of adrenal gland suppression is discussed in further detail in the pamphlet entitled Asthma and Steroids in Tablet Form , prepared by the Partners Asthma Center. The risk from the long-term use of inhaled steroids in terms of hastening thinning of the bones (osteoporosis) is currently being studied. However, it is widely agreed that any risk that may be discovered will be far less than that resulting from use of steroids in tablet form in doses needed to achieve the same control of asthma.
The authorities should impose stricter sanctions against violators who are found to be in possession of oral steroids without prescription. Oral steroids when used only for medical purposes are a boon to our society but its abuse and their subsequent effects make it a bane too. Frightening taboos concerning oral steroids should be alleviated from society and more light should be shed on their positive effects. Medical scientists should be encouraged to continue developing these drugs and make them free of side effects in times to come.
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