Psychiatric side effects of steroid therapy

In clinical studies, changes in prolactin levels were found to be statistically significantly different based on dose, higher doses were associated with higher levels of prolactin. In a study of up to 12 weeks, plasma prolactin concentrations exceeded the upper limit of normal (ULN) in approximately 30% of patients who had normal baseline prolactin values. The majority of these elevations were mild, and remained below 2 x ULN.

Approximately 47% of treated adolescent patients had significantly higher prolactin levels compared to adults. [ Ref ]

Tapering off very, very, very slowly has proven the safest and most effective method of withdrawal of psychiatric medications.  When discontinuing or withdrawing from a psychiatric medication that affects the brains serotonin level, a dangerous situation can occur a condition called the "SSRI Discontinuation Syndrome."  When serotonergic activity dramatically decreases because the neurons aren't able to communicate properly with each other anymore. As a result of this decreased serotonergic activity, side-effects occur. Sometimes these side-effects are reported by the patient as feeling like electric shocks, zaps or shivers in the head (brain) or sometimes like “pins and needles” in the skin or like a light flickering in his/her head.  These symptoms are sometimes so severe that the patient feels confused or like on the verge of blacking out or losing consciousness.  These sensory disturbances may make the patient feel very confused and may involve short periods of short-term memory loss or absences.  These absences are actually petit mal seizures which may be invisible to the observer and not recognized as epileptic activity.  

This is an effect of the withdrawal of the prescribed drug itself - not a symptom of mental illness.  It is caused by the drug.

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“Attention-deficit drugs increase concentration in the short term, which is why they work so well for college students cramming for exams. But when given to children over long periods of time, they neither improve school achievement nor reduce behavior problems. The drugs can also have serious side effects... Many parents who take their children off the drugs find that behavior worsens, which most likely confirms their belief that the drugs work. But the behavior worsens because the children's bodies have become adapted [because the drugs are habit-forming] to the drug. Adults may have similar reactions if they suddenly cut back on coffee, or stop smoking.”

Psychiatric side effects of steroid therapy

psychiatric side effects of steroid therapy

“Attention-deficit drugs increase concentration in the short term, which is why they work so well for college students cramming for exams. But when given to children over long periods of time, they neither improve school achievement nor reduce behavior problems. The drugs can also have serious side effects... Many parents who take their children off the drugs find that behavior worsens, which most likely confirms their belief that the drugs work. But the behavior worsens because the children's bodies have become adapted [because the drugs are habit-forming] to the drug. Adults may have similar reactions if they suddenly cut back on coffee, or stop smoking.”

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