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Strategies to prevent the neuropsychiatric side-effects of corticosteroids: a case report and review of the literature.

Current opinion in organ transplantation (2014-02-21)
Stephen West, Chris Kenedi
ABSTRACT

The use of corticosteroids is increasing, and while the physical complications of their use are well known, the neuropsychiatric consequences are not. This review focuses on preventing these neuropsychiatric complications. Although there are limited data on this subject, it is a problem that clinicians face on a regular basis. The incidence of neuropsychiatric complications rises rapidly once the daily dose of prednisone is greater than 40 mg. Other risk factors for neuropsychiatric symptoms are damaged blood-brain barrier and hypoalbuminemia. All patients receiving corticosteroids and their caregivers should be warned about the potential neuropsychiatric complications. Small trials have supported the use of various agents as prophylaxis. The development of neuropsychiatric symptoms secondary to corticosteroids should lead to prompt involvement of liaison psychiatry. There is a lack of large randomized controlled studies to inform clinical practice. At present, lithium and olanzapine probably represent the best choices for prophylaxis. Patients with a prior history of steroid-related psychosis or mania should be considered for prophylaxis when future courses of steroids are prescribed as limited data, and our clinical experience suggests that this can reduce the future episodes of neuropsychiatric side-effects.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
(±)-Lorazepam
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