Steroids

This information sheet is designed to answer common questions you may have if you have been given steroids (corticosteroids) to treat your Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis, the two main forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

This information is not intended to replace specific advice from your own doctor or any other health professional. You can obtain further information from your doctor, pharmacist, the information leaflet supplied with your medication or from the website: medicines.org.uk.

Why am I being treated with this medicine?
What are steroids?
How effective are steroids in Crohn's or Colitis?
How are steroids taken?
What different names are used for steroid medications?
What is the normal dosage?
How should oral steroids be taken?
How long do steroids take to work?
How long should I be on steroid treatment for?
Why you should not suddenly stop taking steroids
How are steroids used in acute severe Ulcerative Colitis?
What is budesonide?
Will I need to take any special precautions while being treated with steroids?
Are there alternatives to steroids?
What 'checks' will I need for long term steroid treatment.
What special information should you give your doctor?
What are the possible side effects?
When should I seek medical help?
Should I be doing anything to protect my bones
Do steroids affect pregnancy and fertility?
What is known about fathering a child whilst on steroids?
What about breast feeding on steroids?
Can I take other medicines along with steroids?
Can I have immunisation while on steroids?
Can I drink while taking steroids?
Who should I talk to if I am worried?
Help and support from Crohn's & Colitis UK
How we write our information

Last reviewed: June 2016