Steroid problems

Most children with leukemia require therapy with steroid medications at intervals throughout treatment. Prednisone, dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, and others in this category can cause many unpleasant side effects, including fluid retention, high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, sleep disturbances, muscle weakness, cataracts, and bone weakening. Many children experience profound mood swings and are very emotional. If you are having problems in this area, consult your oncologist to see if the dose of steroid medication can be adjusted or if a different type of steroid with fewer side effects is appropriate. For more information on steroids, see Chapter 10, Chemotherapy.

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