Corticosteroids for Castleman Disease

Corticosteroids are a group of drugs related to hormones made in the body by the adrenal glands. These drugs weaken the immune system, so they are useful in treating people with certain immune system diseases and cancers that develop from immune system cells, such as lymphomas.

In some patients with multicentric Castleman disease (CD), these drugs can be helpful, either alone or along with chemotherapy.

Corticosteroids are often taken as pills, but they can also be injected into a vein. Prednisone is the corticosteroid pill most often used to treat CD.

Side effects of corticosteroids (especially long-term use) can include increased blood sugar (which can lead to diabetes), mood changes, increased risk of infections, weakened bones, fatigue, muscle weakness, weight gain, fluid retention, and high blood pressure. Most of these side effects improve after the drug is stopped.

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Last Medical Review: January 20, 2017 Last Revised: February 5, 2018

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