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News2013February › Cortisone alert after life-threatening reaction discovered › February 2013

Cortisone alert after life-threatening reaction discovered

Cortisone is a hormone used in many medications, including asthma and rheumatoid arthritis treatments

Cortisone is a hormone used in many medications, including asthma and rheumatoid arthritis treatments. But researchers have only just discovered that it causes life-threatening pancreatitis, especially if the patient drinks or smokes.
Cortisone increases the risk of acute pancreatitis by 70 per cent, which can be a life-threatening problem in up to 20 per cent of cases. The worst effects seem to happen within three days of starting the medication, say researchers from the Karolinksa Institute in Sweden.
The researchers didn't see any reactions in people who were using inhalers for their asthma, but they recommend that everyone prescribed cortisone pharmaceuticals should be told of the possible risks, and should be told not to drink or smoke while taking the medication.
(Source: JAMA Internal Medicine, 2013; doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.2737).


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