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Is it safe to use corticosteroid when suffering from liver disease?

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Posted on Thu, 28 May 2015
Question: First of all I have liver disease. I also have an inflammatory process that I have dealt with for years that is triggered right now and worsening. Symptoms are somewhat like fibromyalgia or tendonitis or polymyocitis, which I have been diagnosed with in the past, (all three). My PCP has written me an Rx for a short round of dexamethasone 0.75mg (4 bid x 2d, then 2 bid x 4d, then 1 bid). This has always be effective in the past but the side effects can be overwhelming. My concern is that it might be toxic to my liver as my hepatologist does not even recommend an NSAID for pain. Is a corticosteroid safe to use with liver disease and if left untreated, can this severe inflammatory pain cause RA?
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Answered by Dr. Suresh Heijebu (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Screen yourself for RA.

Detailed Answer:
Hi Mam,

I understand your concern.

Yes certainly corticosteroids are known to damage liver .

Hence they are not safe in liver disorders.

But short rounds will not have that significant effect on liver,probably because of rapid drug elimination.

The propensity to lead to RA is based on the detection of 2 important parameters in the blood 1.Rheumatoid factor assay-RF 2.Anti CCP antibodies.

The risk is positive if Anti CCP is alone positive.

When both are positive,the risk doubles.

Hence I recommend you to go for these tests.
Thank you.



Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Suresh Heijebu

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2010

Answered : 3660 Questions

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Is it safe to use corticosteroid when suffering from liver disease?

Brief Answer: Screen yourself for RA. Detailed Answer: Hi Mam, I understand your concern. Yes certainly corticosteroids are known to damage liver . Hence they are not safe in liver disorders. But short rounds will not have that significant effect on liver,probably because of rapid drug elimination. The propensity to lead to RA is based on the detection of 2 important parameters in the blood 1.Rheumatoid factor assay-RF 2.Anti CCP antibodies. The risk is positive if Anti CCP is alone positive. When both are positive,the risk doubles. Hence I recommend you to go for these tests. Thank you.