Actions of Corticosteroids

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Chapter: Essential pharmacology : Corticosteroids

The corticoids have widespread actions. They maintain fluid electrolyte, cardiovascular and energy substrate homeostasis and functional status of skeletal muscles and nervous system.


ACTIONS

 

The corticoids have widespread actions. They maintain fluid electrolyte, cardiovascular and energy substrate homeostasis and functional status of skeletal muscles and nervous system. They prepare the body to withstand effects of all kinds of noxious stimuli and stress. The involvement of hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis in stress response is depicted in Fig. 20.2.

 


 

Corticoids have some direct and some permissive actions. By permissive action is meant that while they do not themselves produce an effect, their presence facilitates other hormones to exert that action, e.g. they do not have any effect on BP but the pressor action of Adr is markedly blunted in their absence. Actions of corticoids are divided into:

 

Glucocorticoid

Effects on carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism, and other activities that are inseparably linked to these.

 

Mineralocorticoid

Effects on Na+, K+ and fluid balance.

Marked dissociation between these two types of actions is seen among natural as well as synthetic corticoids. Accordingly, compounds are labelled as ‘glucocorticoid’ or ‘mineralocorticoid’.

 

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