A comprehensive review of the adverse effects of systemic corticosteroids

Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2010 Aug;43(4):753-68. doi: 10.1016/j.otc.2010.04.003.


Corticosteroids are widely used in otolaryngology to treat many disorders; however, the nature and extent of possible complications may not be completely understood. A comprehensive review of the physiology of systemic corticosteroids and literature discussing the known side effects associated with their use is presented. The pathophysiology and the clinical impact of these side effects are reviewed. There are various potential side effects from the use of corticosteroids. Practitioners using corticosteroids should be familiar with these and obtain the patient's informed consent when appropriate.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / drug effects
  • Adrenal Glands / drug effects
  • Bone Density / drug effects
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / chemically induced
  • Cataract / chemically induced
  • Femur Head Necrosis / drug therapy
  • Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage
  • Glucocorticoids / adverse effects*
  • Glucocorticoids / immunology
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / chemically induced
  • Intraocular Pressure / drug effects
  • Skin / drug effects
  • Wound Healing / drug effects


  • Glucocorticoids