Long term steroid use in cancer patients

In the current study, the researchers followed trial participants for an additional year to evaluate rituximab’s long-term efficacy and safety. After 18 months, rituximab continued to be as effective as the standard regimen, with 39 percent of participants who received rituximab and 33 percent of those who received standard care showing no signs of active disease. There were no major differences between the two groups in average length of remission or in the frequency and severity of relapses. Adverse events, such as infection, occurred at a similar rate in both groups during the 18 months.

Even though anabolic steroids do not cause the same high as other drugs, they can lead to addiction. Studies have shown that animals will self-administer steroids when they have the chance, just as they do with other addictive drugs. People may continue to abuse steroids despite physical problems, high costs to buy the drugs, and negative effects on their relationships. These behaviors reflect steroids' addictive potential. Research has further found that some steroid users turn to other drugs, such as opioids, to reduce sleep problems and irritability caused by steroids.

Anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) withdrawal is established to be an important, though poorly known medical problem, because of AAS potency to cause physical and psychological dependence. Thus discontinuation of high-dose, long-term anabolic steroid use, apart from endocrine dysfunction (hypogonadotropic hypogonadism), may lead to development of withdrawal symptoms. They include mood disorders (with suicidal depression as the most life-threatening complication), insomnia, anorexia, decreased libido, fatigue, headache, muscle and joint pain, and desire to take more steroids. The withdrawal from anabolic steroids usually requires treatment. Clinical management, as with other drugs of abuse, consists of supportive therapy and pharmacotherapy. The goals of treatment are to restore endocrine (hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal, HPG) function and to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. The endocrine medications that are targeted specifically to ameliorate HPG function include testosterone esters, human chorionic gonadotropin, synthetic analogues of gonadotropin-releasing hormone and antiestrogens. They are indicated in the presence of persistent clinical symptoms or/and laboratory evidence of HPG dysfunction. Other medications, that are targeted to provide symptomatic relief include antidepressants (especially serotonin selective re-uptake inhibitors), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and clonidine. Notwithstanding, it should be remembered that many of the above mentioned drugs have their own potential for abuse or side-effects, so their use must be carefully weighted and optimal treatment strategies for AAS withdrawal must await further clinical research.

Long term steroid use in cancer patients

long term steroid use in cancer patients


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