People who experience severe anaphylactic or allergic reactions or have certain types of inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis or asthma, may benefit from treatment with deflazacort. This medication is a type of corticosteroid that works by limiting the body's ability to generate pain and inflammatory signals. As of 2010, this medication is not marketed in the United States; however, a similar corticosteroid called prednisone is available. Patients should be aware of the side effects of deflazacort before starting treatment.
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Patients receiving treatment with deflazacort may develop unusual skin lesions, such as acne, bruises or stretch marks, according to Patient UK. Acne is a term used to describe small, fluid- or pus-filled skin lesions that develop due to inflammation of the oil-producing glands in the skin. Acne may be embarrassing and may be tender or painful to the touch. Patients who develop stretch marks may notice long, thin lines of discolored skin across their thighs, stomach or breasts. Bruising may result in the appearance of red, blue or purple patches of skin following minor injuries, such as bumping into a chair or table.
Corticosteroids, such as deflazacort, interfere with the normal function of a patient's immune system. Consequently, patients may have a more difficult time fighting off infection while receiving treatment with this medication. Patients may develop recurrent infections, such as the flu, a cold or pneumonia, or they may find it takes longer for their skin to heal following injury.
After taking a dose of deflazacort, patients may develop upset stomach, nausea or appetite changes.
Muscle or Bone Weakness
Treatment with deflazacort may cause bone or muscle wasting, which leads to decreased muscle strength and bone weakness in affected patients. Excessive bone loss may result in the development of osteoporosis, a bone disease that makes a patient's bones more susceptible to fractures.
Patients who use this medication excessively or for a prolonged period of time may develop a condition called Cushing's syndrome. Persistent exposure to corticosteroids elevates the levels of cortisol, a naturally occurring hormone, resulting in Cushing's syndrome. Symptoms associated with this condition include severe fatigue, increased blood sugar, bruising, back or body aches, weakness, elevated blood pressure or upper body weight gain, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Patients who exhibit symptoms of Cushing's syndrome during deflazacort treatment should seek further evaluation and care from a physician.
Menstrual Cycle Irregularities or Hirsutism
Women receiving treatment with deflazacort may experience unusual menstrual cycle irregularities, NetDoctor warns. Affected women may develop infrequent or absent menstrual periods and should talk with a doctor if these side effects occur. Excessive or unusual hair growth across the face or body, called hirsutism, may also develop in women taking deflazacort.
Growth Delays in Children
Children who take this medication may weigh less or be shorter in stature than healthy children due to delayed growth that may be induced by deflazacort, BC Children's Hospital reports. It is important for children to receive frequent physical checkups to ensure they meet appropriate developmental and growth milestones.