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Effects of different corticosteroids on the immune system - Research Paper Example

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Effects of Different Corticosteroids on the Immune System Name University Effects of Different Corticosteroids on the Immune System The adrenal gland is divided into two main parts: the cortex and the medulla. The medulla releases epinephrine and norepinephrine, and the cortex is further divided into 3 zones…
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Effects of different corticosteroids on the immune system
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Download file to see previous pages The glucocorticoids are used in replacement therapies for various inflammatory diseases, in severe allergic reactions such as asthma, in the management of some autoimmune disorders and in some cancers as well (Howland, Mycek, Harvey, Champe, & Mycek, 2006). The therapeutic role of corticosteroids has expanded since their first application for the treatment of reheumatoid arthritis in 1949 (Doan, Melvold, & Waltenbaugh, 2005). Different therapeutic corticosteroids are available for replacement therapies, and they play an important immunosuppressive role by mediating the adaptive and innate immune cells of our body. Cortisol is the basic and fundamental glucocorticoid produced in the human body. The three main functions for which corticosteroids are widely used therapeutically include their use as anti-inflammatory agents, for suppression of the immune system, and as a replacement therapy for replacing the hormones not produced at normal levels by the body (NHS Choices, 2013). The production of cortisol reaches its peak during the early morning followed by a drop and then again a peak, relatively smaller, in the late afternoon. Cortisol has various body functions. It promotes the production of glucose and protein catabolism and the degradation of lipids by lipolysis. Cortisol increases the body’s resistance to stress by elevating the blood glucose levels, which helps in more energy production, and fighting stress situations such as cold, trauma, infections, fright, and bleeding. Cortisol also plays an important role in decreasing the blood cell levels which include eosinophils, basophils, monocytes, and lymphocytes. This particular action is important in the treatment of leukemia. The lowering of peripheral lymphocytes and macrophages also helps in mediating an anti-inflammatory action. Cortisol increases the production of growth hormone (Howland et al., 2006). The immunosuppressive action of corticosteroids is used in the treatment of many autoimmune disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease, systemic lupus erythematous, and rheumatoid arthritis. Corticosteroids are also helpful in treating several renal autoimmune diseases such as nephrotic syndrome (Doan, Melvold, & Waltenbaugh, 2005). Numerous corticosteroid preparations are used for therapeutic purposes. Hydrocortisone is used as a topical preparation or in an injectable form. The injections are given to reduce inflammation in joints and tendons of affected individuals. Dexamethasone is used in acute conditions such as severe breathing allergic reactions, and is utilized mainly in the intravenous form. Prednisolone is used in several autoimmune conditions and allergic reactions and is available in suppository form, injections and as oral tablets. Fludrocortisone’s fundamental usage is for Addison’s disease, in which there is a deficiency of normal body steroid production (NHS Choices, 2013). Cortef contains hydrocortisone and is readily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. It has a wide variety of indications including rheumatic disorders, adrenal insufficiency, SLE, dermatological conditions such as psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, exfoliative dermatitis, allergic conditions such as asthma, serum sickness, rhinitis, drug hypersensitivity reactions, ophthalmic diseases such as conjunctivitis, keratitis, herpes zoster ophthalmicus, optic neuritis, haematological diseases such as acquired haemolytic anemia, idiopathic thrombocytopenic ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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