What are steroids?
In layman’s terms, steroids are human-made versions of chemicals, often known as hormones. Hormones are made naturally by the body whereas steroids are an artificial version. Steroids UK are designed to treat different medical conditions including muscular pain, COPD and asthma etc. UK Steroids are also considered to be the best option for treating different rheumatologic inflammatory conditions including inflammatory arthritis and inflammation of blood vessels etc. Steroids act in the same way as hormones in the human body. Steroids UK do not permanently cure any medical condition but can be helpful in reducing the symptoms like inflammation or pain and swelling. It is important to note that steroids are given only for some time. People who buy steroids UK are put on a steroids cycle and are observed carefully by their doctors so that the risk of any side effects can be minimized.
Steroids are categorized as Class C drugs in the UK, which means that they are least harmful as opposed to Class A drugs. Therefore, it’s not illegal or an offence to buy and sell such steroids in the UK. But manufacturing of such steroids without license and even supplying them without license is illegal. Most common steroids sold in the UK are anabolic steroids, but one needs to have a prescription in order to purchase them from any local pharmacist. According to UK legislation, steroids can be imported or exported but in person, which means such drugs cannot be delivered by any courier service as it would be deemed as distributed or delivered by unauthorized license holders.
Buying steroids in UK:
As stated earlier, it’s legal to possess steroids in the UK with a prescription. But this applies to mild steroids often termed as mild corticosteroids like hydrocortisone etc. Such mild steroids can be bought over the counter meaning they don’t require prescription. Whereas there are certain steroids like prednisone which can’t be bought over the counter. For this the buyer must have a prescription from a licensed doctor as these are considered to be rapid effect steroids which can come with various side effects. Apart from OTC, people also go for buy steroids online UK option when they spot the Steroids for sale sign.
COVID-19 and steroids:
In 2020 NHS England organized a trial in which dexamethasone was used to cure severely ill COVID patients. This proved to be a success. Dexamethasone is a type of cheap steroid, which is a common drug for arthritis. It was found that this drug can be used to save people suffering from COVID-19 and avoid hospitalization and severe infection in lungs caused by the pandemic. Research was carried out by the University of Oxford to test different potential treatments for COVID-19. It was found that dexamethasone, because of its immunosuppressive properties, can be used to treat COVID patients. It was administered to patients who were on a ventilator, thus reducing the deaths to one third. According to a report, if this drug had been used from the start in the UK, up to 5000 lives could have been saved. But it was also found that this cheap steroid cannot be of any help to patients who don’t have any respiratory issues.
Side effects of steroids:
While steroids can help reduce medical conditions in patients temporarily, there are many side effects of using steroids including weight gain, easy bruising, muscle weakness, mood changes etc. If steroids are taken for a longer term, they can result in different medical complexities including high blood sugar, glaucoma etc. Long term use of steroids can suppress the role of the immune system thereby increasing the risk for infection. Therefore, it is highly recommended to get flu shots yearly while being on steroids.
Steroids can be administered in different ways i.e., by mouth, in the form of drops, topically, by means of inhalers or spray and through injections.
· Risk of taking oral steroids:
Oral ones could affect the entire body instead of just one area. This type of dosing can pose significant risks ranging from swelling of lower extremities, issues with memory, mood swings, weight gain and accumulation of fat in certain areas of the body. Apart from this, taking oral steroids for longer term can result in osteoporosis and ultimately fractures. Also, people might face severe fatigue and muscle weakness.
· Risk of taking inhaled steroids:
While taking steroids in form of inhalers, some amount of drug may deposit in the mouth and throat which can result in fungal mouth infection and hoarseness.
· Risks of taking topical steroids:
Topical steroids are in the form of creams and ointments which are used to cure skin diseases. Such topical creams can cause skin lesions and acne and, in some cases, lead to skin thinning. Most topical steroids are classified between 1 to 7 levels and are given accordingly depending upon the age of the patient and the degree of efficacy of these topical drugs.
· Risks of taking injected steroids:
While injected steroids are not considered to be harmful, the person given such steroids can have temporary side effects at the point of injection. This might include skin thinning, skin color loss etc. Other side effects might include high blood sugar and insomnia.
How to avoid side effects of steroids:
It is important to remember that the side effects of steroids are very much dependent on the dosing pattern. This means if your dose is low, risk of side effects will be low and vice versa. As shared before, long term use of steroids can result in thinning of bones. It is recommended to use vitamin D and calcium supplements to overcome this issue. Patients should be administered low doses of steroids and for short term and after every alternate day. It is better to use a non-oral form of steroids. Such steroids directly reach lungs therefore avoiding exposure to the rest of the body. Moreover, if a patient has been on steroids for a longer time, it is advised to use some medical alert instruments including bracelets etc. and to seek doctor’s assistance regularly throughout the treatment cycle. It is also advised to take steroidal medication after meal not on empty stomach as this can help reduce stomach problems.