You may be given steroids alongside chemotherapy to treat lymphoma. They may help you to feel better and feel less sick during chemotherapy.

What are steroids?

Steroids are drugs that are often given with chemotherapy to help treat lymphoma. They may also help you feel better and feel less sick during chemotherapy. The steroids most commonly used to treat lymphoma are called prednisolone and dexamethaone.

Side effects of steroids

Your treatment for lymphoma may involve taking steroids for a few days at a time during every cycle of chemotherapy.

Possible side effects include:

Tell your doctor if you have any side effects that are causing you trouble.

If you have indigestion, it can help to take your steroids with food. Your doctor may also prescribe drugs to prevent indigestion. Tell your doctor if you have stomach pains while taking steroids.

Taking your steroids in the morning may help reduce sleeping problems.

Sometimes, steroids may cause a temporary increase in your blood sugar level. You may have regular blood or urine tests to check this. During treatment, tell your doctor if you get very thirsty or if you are passing more urine than usual. If you have diabetes, tell your doctor before you start taking steroids.

Side effects usually get better when you finish taking steroids. But some people feel tired, have aches and pains, or have low moods when they stop taking them. This usually gets better within 2 to 3 days as your body adjusts to the change in steroid levels.

How we can help

Macmillan Cancer Support Line
The Macmillan Support Line offers confidential support to people living with cancer and their loved ones. If you need to talk, we'll listen.
0808 808 00 00
7 days a week, 8am - 8pm
Email us
Get in touch via this form
Chat online
7 days a week, 8am - 8pm
Online Community
An anonymous network of people affected by cancer which is free to join. Share experiences, ask questions and talk to people who understand.
Help in your area
What's going on near you? Find out about support groups, where to get information and how to get involved with Macmillan where you live.