Effects of steroid withdrawal are known to emulate and kick start many other medical complications as well. Weakness, loss of appetite, fatigue, nausea, weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea (further resulting in liquid and electrolyte complications), as well as abdominal pain are some of the most common effects that steroid withdrawal is often associated with. Constant decrease in blood pressure which simultaneously causes a person to faint or causes fits and dizziness are other complications the steroid use can cause.
Blood sugar levels are known to have dropped in many people who consume steroids. In women, menstrual changes have been reported widely. Muscle and joint pains, fever, changes in mentality, as well as elevation in calcium levels have been reported in some cases. Gastrointestinal contractions decrease dramatically which may ultimately lead to the swelling of the intestine .
The most common side effect of topical corticosteroid use is skin atrophy. All topical steroids can induce atrophy, but higher potency steroids, occlusion, thinner skin, and older patient age increase the risk. The face, the backs of the hands, and intertriginous areas are particularly susceptible. Resolution often occurs after discontinuing use of these agents, but it may take months. Concurrent use of topical tretinoin (Retin-A) % may reduce the incidence of atrophy from chronic steroid applications. 30 Other side effects from topical steroids include permanent dermal atrophy, telangiectasia, and striae.
A very typical case of severe cholestasis due to anabolic steroid use. Because the steroids were being used without medical supervision, the dose and actual duration of use of each preparation was unclear, but cholestasis usually arises within 4 to 12 weeks of starting a C-17 alkylated androgenic steroid. The jaundice can be severe and prolonged and accompanied by severe pruritus and marked weight loss. The serum enzymes are typically minimally elevated except for a short period immediately after stopping therapy. The pattern of enzyme elevations can be hepatocellular, cholestatic or mixed. Liver biopsy shows a “bland” cholestasis with minimal inflammation and hepatocellular necrosis. Ma Huang has also been implicated in cases of drug induced liver injury, but is associated with an acute hepatocellular pattern of injury.