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Article contents

Steroid-induced psychiatric syndromes: A case report and a review of the literature

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 March 2020

R. Martín Gutierrez
Affiliation:
Hospital Universitario Marques De Valdecilla, Psychiatry, Santander, Spain
P. Suarez Pinilla
Affiliation:
Hospital Universitario Marques De Valdecilla, Psychiatry, Santander, Spain
R. Medina Blanco
Affiliation:
Hospital Universitario Marques De Valdecilla, Psychiatry, Santander, Spain
R. Landera Rodriguez
Affiliation:
Hospital Universitario Marques De Valdecilla, Psychiatry, Santander, Spain
M. Juncal Ruiz
Affiliation:
Hospital Universitario Marques De Valdecilla, Psychiatry, Santander, Spain
M. Gómez Revuelta
Affiliation:
Hospital Universitario Marques De Valdecilla, Psychiatry, Santander, Spain
I. Madrazo del Río Hortega
Affiliation:
Hospital Universitario Marques De Valdecilla, Psychiatry, Santander, Spain
O. Porta Olivares
Affiliation:
Hospital Universitario Marques De Valdecilla, Psychiatry, Santander, Spain
J. González Gómez
Affiliation:
Hospital Universitario Marques De Valdecilla, Psychiatry, Santander, Spain
R. Hernando Fernández
Affiliation:
Hospital Universitario Marques De Valdecilla, General Practicioner, Santander, Spain

Abstract

Introduction

Glucocorticoids are widely prescribed for a variety of diseases and are known to cause neuropsychiatric as well as somatic side effects.

Objective

To review the incidence, clinical characteristics, course and treatment of neuropsychiatric effects of glucocorticoids.

Aim

We have described the case of a 86-year-old woman. She had no personal and no psychiatric medical history in her family. She presented wrist arthritis requiring high doses of an oral corticoid treatment (prednisona 20 mg/d). After a week, she started with symptoms characterised by persecutory and surveillance delusions. Organicity was ruled out. The patient got a progressive recovery after starting anti-psychotic medication and progressive reduction of the steroid drugs.

Methods

We have performed a literature review of the neuropsychiatric complications of glucocorticoids using the PubMed database.

Results

Neuropsychiatric effects of glucocorticoids involve affective, behavioural, and cognitive manifestations. The incidence is variable, between 2 and 60% of patients who receive steroids. Although the effects of glucocorticoids are unpredictable, the administered dose is the most significant risk factor for the development of neuropsychiatric symptoms. Dosage reduction typically results in clinical recovery. Although the limited data on this subject, it is a problem that clinicians face on their regular basis. The administration of anti-psychotics or mood stabilizers may be beneficial in the prevention and treatment of this syndrome.

Conclusion

The neuropsychiatric effects of glucocorticoids are unpredictable and non-specific. More controlled trials are needed in order to perform evidence-based clinical guidelines for the treatment with glucocorticoids and for the prevention of neuropsychiatric manifestations.

Disclosure of interest

The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.

Type
e-Poster Viewing: Others
Copyright
Copyright © European Psychiatric Association 2017
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