What does cortisone do?

Cortisone—it’s a word that strikes fear into the hearts of hypochondriacs and becomes a boon for those in need of relief. Although it is often misunderstood, cortisone plays an essential role in managing inflammation and should be celebrated as one of the most effective therapies available in medicine today. In this article, we will delve deep into what cortisone does to help provide you with a better understanding.


Have you ever woken up feeling like your joints are on fire? Have you ever had puffy eyes so swollen; you’re amazed they haven’t burst open? Well, if your answer is yes, then welcome to the world made bright by inflammation! Getting back to life quickly after an injury can sometimes feel overwhelming. The pain needs stopping straight away before anything else makes sense or matters. Believe it or not, there is only so much ice-packs can do when our bodies undergo various forms of inflammation – this applies even when it comes to allergies.

When all these wild things happen within our body, something called cortisol (a hormone secreted from adrenal glands) also spikes to deal with them effectively. However, sometimes—with autoimmune disorders (our immune system attacking itself), for instance—cortisol particles don’t act automatically anymore like knights in shining armor but lead their own revolution against us. Fortunately for us though; drugs called corticosteroids come through in time which brings down swelling caused by aggressive bodily combatants helping us win back control resulting from different conditions like arthritis rheumatoid/alzheimer’s diseases

Corticosteroids’ Journey

Often used interchangeably with ‘steroids’, “corticosteroids” refers specifically to Adrenal Cortex-originating synthetic hormones employed clinically as anti-inflammatory drugs – sounds good right? It was actually quite difficult producing them initially because isolating and synthesizing pharmaceutical compounds found in the adrenal gland in minuscule amounts was problematic. In 1948 though, a ray of hope when Drs. Edward Kendall and Tadeus Reichstein won the Nobel Prize for medicine after finally synthesizing cortisone.


Corticosteroids relieve pain caused by inflammation throughout our bodies as they are quite similar to naturally occurring anti-inflammatory hormones like cortisol which help control stress responses during long haul flights or big debts!

How Do Corticosteroids Work?

I’m getting scientific now, so hold on tight! Remember what we said earlier about “Inflammation”? Right! So it’s a natural response by the body when injured. This is happening because specialized cells sense intruders and start sending protean signals resulting in more blood flow launched over there quickly bringing immune cells with them can assist any potential healing process that may not be up to scratch; however once you have healed (or think you have) these leukocytes remain active and cause painful flare-ups.

Got this? Great!

This is where corticosteroids come into play working chiefly via genomic mechanisms triggering RNA underneath nucleuses first impacting production/modulation regarding numerous gene sets involved inflammation regulation including Protein expression modulations alongside activating/ suppressing various cellular processes geared towards lowering both involuntary voluntary events like appetite balance inhibition further systemic degradation…

…however, their chief effect arises from blocking genes responsible for invigorating inflammatory cell populace hence reducing swelling.

What Types Of Steroids Are Used Clincally Typically?

Doctors use two types of steroids: glucocorticoid’s – excellent at fighting inflammation whilst mineralocorticoid’s obviously concern themselves with fluid homeostasis (around sodium levels).

Examples of medication
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Prednisolone methylprednisolone
  • Triamcinolone acetonide
  • Dexamethasone
    But all work similarly enough within aforementioned processes.


Oral (pill or syrup)



Indications For Treatment With Corticosteroids:

  • Arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Hypersensitivity reactions
  • Inflammatory bowel disorders such as Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis.
    Reminder these are just a select few of the various conditions that can benefit from steroid therapy.

What’s The Catch?

Yes, nothing is perfect! Even such powerhouse drugs with a formidable medical history like cortisone have weaknesses too;

  1. Steroids should never be mixed along with certain vaccinations since they may hamper proper functionality by our immune system against newly seen pathogens.
  2. Additional complications could include osteoporosis or ‘thinning out’ your bones, muscular atrophy developing alongside blood glucose irregularities amongst others depending on type/concentration use administered levels individual receiving treatment.

We hope you enjoyed this overview of what cortisone does because we’ve loved writing it for you! Do come back again to check our list out next time something similar arises in your life so that all those inflamed woes get set at ease ASAP without fear from misunderstanding about steroids’ power as sultry medications making more mischief than solve issues faced during attempts speeding recovery.

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