One of the first questions an individual even considering taking such drugs should ask regards possible side effects and/or steroid withdrawal symptoms.
Any drug can cause side effects, not only while it’s being taken, but when you stop taking it.
What are the facts regarding potential steroid withdrawal, how bad is it, and what can you do to reduce the risk of symptoms associated with such withdrawal?
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Some of the most common steroid withdrawal symptoms include:
Steroids are categorized as two types: corticosteroids and anabolic steroids.
Anabolic steroid withdrawal is typically seen by bodybuilders using steroids to bulk up or for their cutting cycles.
Corticosteroids are often prescribed in the treatment of immune system disorders as well as those that cause inflammation such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Immune system disorders can also contribute to asthma, allergies, or skin conditions.
Side effects and steroid withdrawal symptoms when stopping a corticosteroids can be eased by gradually tapering off the drug.
The most common symptoms of steroid withdrawal include but are not limited to:
The doctor will recommend titration or a gradual withdrawal plan for common corticosteroids such as prednisone after 5 days for example, to reduce the potential and severity of possible steroid withdrawal side effects and discomfort.
Prednisone withdrawal symptoms according to the NHS include having a rash and chest pain, but there is treatment for it.
How long does it take for prednisone to get out of your system? It depends if you’ve used a prednisone tapering schedule. Typically you can expect to see it completely out of your system within a day.
When it comes to anabolic steroids, factors may influence withdrawal symptoms. Anabolic steroids are synthetic drugs that have a similar structure to and behavior of the male hormone testosterone.
Factors that can influence the type and severity of anabolic steroid withdrawal symptoms depend on the type of steroid, the milligram strength, dosage, and frequency of dosage.
Age, weight, and health status can also affect the potential for steroid withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal issues from use of anabolic steroids is not usually prevalent unless a person has been taking high doses, short-term or long-term.
Depending on the severity of the misuse, overuse, or abuse of an anabolic steroid, or even a corticosteroid, some individuals may experience severe depression or bouts of depression that sometimes caused suicidal thoughts.
In most cases, steroid withdrawal symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks.
Withdrawal symptoms may also depend on the half-life of the steroid.
A drug’s half-life is defined as the time required for the drug substance and its potency to be reduced by approximately one half.
In other words, the time it takes for the steroid to lose approximately half of its strength or its effect on the body.
The half-life of steroids that are often over used, misused, and abused include :
Withdrawal from any drug follows typical patterns that can last hours or days. It depends on the severity of the misuse, the length of time that steroids have been misused or abused, as well as the milligram strength and frequency of dosages.
For example, a general timeline for steroid withdrawal can follow a pattern such as this:
Symptoms of withdrawal may not present immediately, but will generally occur within five days of the last dosage of the steroid, and of course will depend on the half-life of that steroid.
The most common symptoms experienced early on are typically mild. Complaints of headache are common, as are upset stomach/nausea. You may see signs of increased agitation or irritability.
Following the first stage of steroid withdrawal, you, a friend, or loved one may experience a general sense of fatigue or a lack of concentration, often coupled with feelings of anxiety or depression.
After about a week the symptoms of withdrawal generally peak. Common steroid withdrawal symptoms at this point may include complaints of abdominal pain, upset stomach/nausea, and lack of appetite contributing to weight loss.
Some people withdrawing from steroids complain of difficulty sleeping or insomnia.
By the second week, most of the severe symptoms of steroid withdrawal have diminished and gradually continue to decline.
Depending on the severity of the steroid usage – intermittent to chronic – some individuals may benefit from professional treatment plans, inpatient or outpatient rehab centers, or at the least, the guidance of a physician in quitting steroids.
For some, cognitive behavioral therapy may be beneficial, especially for individuals who have difficulties with their sense of self-image, self-esteem, and self-confidence, before and after steroid withdrawal.
Before taking steroids, learn about their potency, their effect on the body, as well as the potential for addiction or overuse that can contribute to steroid withdrawal symptoms.