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What Are Corticosteroids & Why Do Myeloma Patients Need Them?

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What Are Corticosteroids & Why Do Myeloma Patients Need Them?

I wrote this post in July. Thought it was worth another look:

The book, 100 Questions & Answers About Myeloma, gives an excellent lay-persons explanation of corticosteroids and how they work. Not familiar with the term? Prednisone and dexamethasone are both corticosteroids. Not to be confused with anabolic steroids often used by athletes, both prednisone and dexamethasone break muscle down with prolonged use instead of building muscles up. These drugs both have a number of annoying side-effects. But neither negatively effect the bone marrow or depress bone marrow function. This means they can be used at the same time as other drugs that suppress red and/or white blood counts like Thalidomide, Revlimid and Velcade. Physicians have learned that by “pulsing” these drugs, many of the muscle-waisting side effects can be avoided. When used in combination with primary chemotherapy drugs, prednisone and dexamethasone often increase the effectiveness of the treatment.

Feel good, keep smiling and don’t forget to take your Dex, even if you don’t want to! Pat