Steroid Psychosis: A Case Series of Three Patients

Published on:March 2018
Indian Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 2018; 11(1):51-54
Case Series | doi:10.5530/ijopp.11.1.9

Steroid Psychosis: A Case Series of Three Patients

Authors and affiliation (s):

Vineetha Bharathan Menon1*, Ansu Anie Sunny1, Pratibha Pereira2, Shashidhara Chikkaveeraiah2, Madhan Ramesh1

1Department of Pharmacy Practice, JSS College of Pharmacy, JSS University, Mysore- 15, Karnataka, INDIA.

2Department of Internal Medicine, JSS Hospital and Medical College, JSS University, Mysore- 15, Karnataka, INDIA.


Background: Steroids are widely used in modern medicine for the treatment of various ailments. Steroid psychosis is a known complication of steroid therapy, although infrequent. Herein we describe a series of three cases where patients presented with pure psychosis without mood disturbance, which is highly unlikely, following steroid therapy. Cases: Two female and one male patients aged 23 years, 50 years and 80 years respectively developed psychosis following steroid administration. In the first case, oral methylprednisolone (48 mg/day) was used in the management of systemic lupus erythematosus, second case received intravenous dexamethasone (36 mg/day) for the management of bronchopneumonia, while third case had a two day course of intravenous methylprednisolone (120 mg/day) for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Conclusion: Consistent with the previous studies, female gender and high steroid dose were identified as the common risk factors for the development of steroid psychosis. Steroid psychosis is a major complication, which if recognized early can be effectively treated. Treatment with high dose of steroids should be used cautiously to avoid psychotic adverse reactions.

Key words: Adverse drug reaction, Case series, Corticosteroids, Psychosis.


The Official Journal of Association of Pharmaceutical Teachers of India (APTI)
(Registered under Registration of Societies Act XXI of 1860 No. 122 of 1966-1967, Lucknow)

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