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Locally Acting Corticosteroids

Drugs that are injected directly into body tissues to reduce inflammation

Common drugs

  • Betamethasone

  • Dexamethasone

  • Hydrocortisone

  • Methylprednisolone

  • Prednisolone

  • Triamcinolone

Locally acting corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory drugs that are injected into a specific area of the body to reduce inflammation in that area. The drugs block the body’s response that triggers production of natural chemicals that cause inflammation and pain. Corticosteroids can be injected into joints to relieve inflammation due to conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Injections can also be given around ligaments and tendons to relieve conditions such as tennis elbow. A local anaesthetic may be injected with a corticosteroid to relieve pain quickly.

Side effects do not often occur with injected corticosteriods; if they do, they are usually limited to the site of injection. These local side effects can include thinning of the skin or fat at the injection site, which may produce a dimple. There may be a temporary increase in pain; rarely, the area becomes infected.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

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