Anti-inflammatory medications - inhalant, systemic, and topical corticosteroids

Selected Medications

  • Beclomethasone
    • Beclovent
    • Beconase
    • Beconase AQ
    • QVAR
    • Vancenase
    • Vancenase AQ
    • Vanceril
  • Budesonide
    • Pulmicort Respules
    • Pulmicort Turbuhaler
    • Rhinocort
    • Rhinocort Aqua
  • Dexamethasone
    • AK-Dex Ophthalmic
    • Baldex
    • Dalalone D.P.
    • Dalalone L.A.
    • Dalalone
    • Decadron
    • Decadron Phosphate
    • Decadron-LA
    • Decaject-LA
    • Decaject
    • Decaspray
    • Dexacort Phosphate Turbinaire
    • Dexasone
    • Dexasone L.A.
    • Dexone
    • Dexone LA
    • Hexadrol
    • Hexadrol Phosphate
    • Maxidex
    • Solurex L.A.
    • Solurex
  • Fluticasone
    • Cutivate
    • Flonase
    • Flovent
    • Flovent Diskus
    • Flovent Rotadisk
  • Hydrocortisone
    • A-hydroCort
    • Ala-Cort
    • Ala-Scalp
    • Anucort-HC Suppository
    • Anusol-HC Suppository
    • Anusol HC 1 [OTC]
    • Anusol HC 2.5% [OTC]
    • Cetacort
    • Clocort Maximum Strength
    • Cort-Dome
    • Cortaid Maximum Strength [OTC]
    • Cortaid With Aloe [OTC]
    • Cortef
    • Cortef Feminine Itch
    • Cortenema
    • Corticaine
    • Cortifoam
    • Cortizone-10 [OTC]
    • Cortizone-5 [OTC]
    • Delcort
    • Dermacort
    • DermiCort
    • Dermolate[OTC]
    • Dermtex HC With Aloe
    • Eldecort
    • Gynecort[OTC]
    • Hemril-HC Uniserts
    • Hi-Cor 1.0
    • Hi-Cor 2.5
    • Hycort
    • Hydrocort
    • Hydrocortone Acetate
    • Hydrocortone Phosphate
    • HydroTex[OTC]
    • Hytone
    • LactiCare-HC
    • Lanacort[OTC]
    • Locoid
    • Nutracort
    • Orabase HCA
    • Pandel
    • Penecort
    • Procort[OTC]
    • Proctocort
    • S-T Cort
    • Scalpicin
    • Solu-Cortef
    • Synacort
    • Tegrin-HC [OTC]
    • Texacort
    • Westcort
    • Methylprednisolone
  • Mometasone Furoate
    • Elocon
    • Nasonex
  • Prednisone
    • Deltasone
    • Liquid Pred
    • Meticorten
    • Orasone
    • Prednicen-M
  • Triamcinolone
    • Amcort
    • Aristocort
    • Aristocort A
    • Aristocort Forte
    • Aristocort Intralesional
    • Aristospan Intra-Articular
    • Aristospan Intralesional
    • Atolone
    • Azmacort
    • Delta-Tritex
    • Flutex
    • Kenacort
    • Kenaject-40
    • Kenalog-10
    • Kenalog-40
    • Kenalog
    • Kenalog H
    • Kenalog in Orabase
    • Kenonel
    • Nasacort
    • Nasacort AQ
    • Tac-3
    • Tac-40
    • Tri-Kort
    • Tri-Nasal
    • Triacet
    • Triam Forte
    • Triam-A
    • Triderm
    • Trilog
    • Trilone
    • Tristoject



Osteoporosis (bone loss) is the main disease that comes from not getting enough calcium. Lack of calcium also may be linked with bone pain and spinal problems. Low levels can also cause muscle cramps, irregular heartbeat, and depression.

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)

DHEA is a hormone your body makes. Lower levels of DHEA have been linked to various conditions such as certain cancers, heart problems, inflammatory diseases, and Type II diabetes. Symptoms of low DHEA can include fatigue, trouble concentrating, low sex drive, and dry skin.


Magnesium deficiency also affects calcium and vitamin D levels in the body. It may be linked to muscle cramps, heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, and osteoporosis.


Lower levels of melatonin in the body have been linked to sleep problems and jet lag. Melatonin may also play a role in keeping your immune system strong.


Symptoms of potassium deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea, drowsiness, feelings of apprehension, fatigue, muscle pain and weakness (usually in the legs). Severe cases may lead to irregular heartbeat.

Protein and Amino Acid

Not having enough protein can cause a weakened immune system, making you more likely to get an infection and causing wounds to heal slower. It can also lead to muscle and weight loss. In severe cases, it may cause slow growth and skin and hair problems.


Not getting enough selenium over a period of time may make you more susceptible to developing other conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, or liver disease. Low levels of selenium may be linked to problems with the muscles, heart, and digestive system.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Your body uses vitamin B6 to produce red blood cells and to use protein from food. Symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiency may include skin inflammation, sore tongue, depression, mental confusion, seizures, and anemia. Over many years, low levels of vitamin B6 may also increase the risk of heart disease, as well as colon and prostate cancers.

Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)

Low levels of folic acid have been linked to anemia, heart disease, birth defects, and colon cancer. Symptoms may include fatigue, mouth sores, swollen tongue, and poor growth.

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Noticeable symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency can take years to show up. Irritability, weakness, numbness, anemia, loss of appetite, headache, personality changes, and confusion are some of the signs and symptoms associated with very low levels of vitamin B12. Low levels of this vitamin may also be associated with an increased risk of colon cancer, heart disease, brain problems, and birth defects.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

Low levels of vitamin C can cause your gums to bleed and your skin to bruise easily. Other symptoms include wounds that are slow to heal, dry hair, fatigue and anemia, and dry, rough skin. In severe cases, vitamin C deficiency leads to scurvy, a life-threatening condition that affects muscles and bones. Scurvy is rare, however, because it's easy to get enough vitamin C in your diet.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D works with calcium to keep bones strong. Over a long period of time, levels of vitamin D can cause rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults, conditions where the bones get soft and thin. It can also raise the risk of osteoporosis and it may increase the risk of some cancers.


Signs and symptoms of low levels of zinc include loss of appetite or sense of taste, weakened immune system, slow growth, skin changes, and being more susceptible to infection.

Editorial Note

The information presented here covers some of the nutrients that may be lowered when you take certain medications. The signs and symptoms listed can be caused by other conditions. So if you have these signs and symptoms, it doesn't always mean you have low levels of these nutrients. Many things affect the level of nutrients, including your medical history, diet, and lifestyle, as well as how long you have been taking the medication. Please talk with your health care provider. He or she can best address your health care needs and see if you are at risk for low levels of any nutrients.

Supporting Research

Acuna-Castroviejo D, Escames G, Rodriguez MI, Lopez LC. Melatonin role in the mitochondrial function. Front Biosci. 2007;12:947-63.

Ahmed W, Khan N, Gluect C, Pandey S, Wang P, Goldenberg N, Uppal M, Khamal S. Low serum 25 (OH) vitamin D levels (32 ng / m L )Trans Res. 2009;153(1):11-6.

Altun A, Ugur-Altun B. Melatonin: therapeutic and clinical utilization. Int J Clin Pract. 2007;61(5):835-45.

Bauer ME. Stress, glucocorticoids and ageing of the immune system. Stress. 2005;8(1):69-83.

Bierwirth J, Ulbricht KU, Schmidt RE, Witte T. Association of common variable immunodeficiency with vitamin B(6) deficiency. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007; [Epub ahead of print].

Chiang EP, Smith DE, Selhub J, Dallal G, Wang YC, Roubenoff R. Inflammation causes tissue-specific depletion of vitamin B6. Arthritis Res Ther. 2005;7(6):R1254-62.

Curtis JR, Saag KG. Prevention and treatment of glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis. Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2007;5(1):14-21.

Fitzgerald MA. Drug-induced vitamin B12 deficiency. Nurse Pract. 2007;32(9):6-7.

Flynn A, Pories WJ, Strain WH, et al. Rapid serum-zinc depletion associated with corticosteroid therapy. Lancet. 1971;2(7735):1169-1172.

Hambidge M. Human zinc deficiency. J Nutr. 2000;130(5S Suppl):1344S-1349S.

Humphreys M. Potassium disturbances and associated electrocardiogram changes. Emerg Nurse. 2007;15(5):28-34.

Hvas AM, Nexo E. Diagnosis and treatment of vitamin B12 deficiency -- an update. Haematologica. 2006;91(11):1506-12.

Kinoshita Y, Masuoka K, Miyakoshi S, Taniguchi S, Takeuchi Y. Vitamin D insufficiency underlies unexpected hypocalcemia following high dose glucocorticoid therapy. Bone. 2007; [Epub ahead of print].

Lewy AJ, Emens J, Jackman A, Yuhas K. Circadian uses of melatonin in humans. Chronobiol Int. 2006;23(1-2):403-12.

Liamis G, Mitrogianni Z, Liberopoulos EN, Tsimihodimos V, Elisaf M. Electrolyte disturbances in patients with hyponatremia. Intern Med. 2007;46(11):685-90.

Lin SH, Halperin ML. Hypokalemia: a practical approach to diagnosis and its genetic basis. Curr Med Chem. 2007;14(14):1551-65.

Moretti R, Torre P, Antonello RM, Cazzato G, Cattaruzza T, Scapicchio PL. Vitamin B12 and folate depletion: clinical evidence in a neurological population. Neurologist. 2004;10(6):338-43.

Navarro-Alarcon M, Lopez-Martinez MC. Essentiality of selenium in the human body: relationship with different diseases. Sci Total Environ. 2000;249:347-371.

Pelton R, LaValle J, Hawkins EB, et al. Drug Induced Nutrient Depletion Handbook. Hudson, OH:LexiComp, Inc.;2001:413-422.

Piccirillo JF. Melatonin. Prog Brain Res. 2007;166:331-3.

Powell SR. The antioxidant properties of zinc. J Nutr. 2000;130(5S Suppl):1447S-54S.

Reiter RJ. Melatonin: clinical relevance. Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2003;17(2):273-85.

Reynolds E. Vitamin B12, folic acid, and the nervous system. Lancet Neurol. 2006;5(11):949-60.

Spinneker A, Sola R, Lemmen V, Castillo MJ, Pietrzik K, González-Gross M. Vitamin B6 status, deficiency and its consequences -- an overview. Nutr Hosp. 2007;22(1):7-24.

Svenson J. Neurologic disease and vitamin B12 deficiency. Am J Emerg Med. 2007;25(8):987.e3-4.

Tubek S, Grzanka P, Tubek I. Role of Zinc in Hemostasis: A Review. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2007; [Epub ahead of print].

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 09/29/2012
  • Steven D. Ehrlich, NMD, Solutions Acupuncture, a private practice specializing in complementary and alternative medicine, Phoenix, AZ. Review provided by VeriMed HealthCare Network.

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This page was last updated: May 31, 2013

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