Exogenous corticosteroid effects on mood and cognition: case presentations

Int J Psychosom. 1990;37(1-4):57-61.


Eight patients who had undergone greater than five years of intermittent treatments with corticosteroids volunteered to be interviewed about their experiences. Seven patients stated they were not warned by their physicians of the possible psychiatric side effects. Five patients did not inform their physicians when symptoms did occur. The patients complained of insomnia, depression, hypomania or euphoria, confusion, and memory problems. Based on these reports, the frequency of affective and cognitive side effects of exogenous corticosteroids may be much higher than has been previously reported. The studies in the literature are discussed and recommendations are given for evaluating these side effects in patients who are treated with corticosteroids.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / administration & dosage
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / adverse effects*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / drug therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mood Disorders / chemically induced*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / etiology*


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones