Corticosteroids can cause depression

Steroids like prednisone are used to treat a surprising number of conditions, including autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, asthma, allergies, and even cancer. But they can come with a mental health downside.

“Chronic use is associated with a range of psychiatric problems,” says Dr. Nathan. “It can cause depression, anxiety and psychosis.

Euphoria and mania seem to be more common with short-term use while depression becomes more prominent with longer use, even if the doses aren’t large.

If you have a family history of depression or alcoholism, you have an even greater risk for developing one of these side effects when using corticosteroids. Talk to your doctor or specialist about your risk factors and medication alternatives.

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