Persons who are using drugs that suppress the immune system (., corticosteroids) are more susceptible to infections than healthy individuals. Chickenpox and measles , for example, can have a more serious or even fatal course in susceptible children or adults using corticosteroids. In children or adults who have not had these diseases or been properly immunized, particular care should be taken to avoid exposure. How the dose, route, and duration of corticosteroid administration affect the risk of developing a disseminated infection is not known. The contribution of the underlying disease and/or prior corticosteroid treatment to the risk is also not known. If a patient is exposed to chickenpox, prophylaxis with varicella zoster immune globulin (VZIG) may be indicated. If a patient is exposed to measles, prophylaxis with pooled intramuscular immunoglobulin ( IG ) may be indicated (see the respective package inserts for complete VZIG and IG prescribing information). If chickenpox or measles develops, treatment with antiviral agents may be considered.
Oral and injectable systemic corticosterois are steroid hormones prescribed to decrease inflammation in diseases and conditions such as arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis, for example), ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, asthma, bronchitis, some skin rashes, and allergic or inflammatory conditions that involve the nose and eyes. Examples of systemic corticosteroids include hydrocortisone (Cortef), cortisone, prednisone (Prednisone Intensol), prednisolone (Orapred, Prelone), and methylprednisolone (Medrol, Depo-Medrol, Solu-Medrol). Some of the side effects of systemic corticosteroids are swelling of the legs, hypertension, headache, easy bruising, facial hair growth, diabetes, cataracts, and puffiness of the face.
If allergies are responsible for post-nasal drip, over-the counter antihistamines (., loratadine, desloratadine, cetirizine, fexofenadine) can be used to help with symptoms. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before starting an antihistamine. Your doctor may also prescribe a corticosteroid nasal spray (., budesonide, fluticasone, mometasone) to help. Avoiding the allergies that cause runny noses can prevent post-nasal drip from happening again. Many people are allergic only during certain seasons or times of the year, mostly to pollens, moulds, or weeds. Year-round causes of allergies include mites, animal dander, and moulds.