Side effects of steroids

Steroids are drugs that are often given with chemotherapy treatment. They are generally only given for short periods of time. Side effects of steroids may include indigestion, increased appetite, feeling more energetic or restless or having difficulty sleeping.

Taking steroids with food can help reduce indigestion. Your doctor may also prescribe drugs to prevent indigestion.

Steroids can make you feel much hungrier than usual and you may gain weight. Your appetite will go back to normal when you stop taking them. If you’re worried about gaining weight, talk to your doctor or nurse.

If you are having difficulty sleeping, it can help to take your steroids in the morning with food.

Occasionally, steroids may cause a temporary increase in your blood sugar level. You may have regular blood or urine tests to check this. If you get very thirsty or feel you’re passing more urine than usual, tell your doctor.

After finishing a course of steroids, some people feel tired and a bit low in mood, and have aches and pains. This is due to their body adjusting to the changes in steroid levels. It usually gets better within 2–3 days.

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Late effects of chemotherapy

Late effects are side effects you still have six months after chemotherapy, or side effects that begin years later.