Steroid Withdrawal: Symptoms, Treatments And More

The steroid is not addictive, however stopping its consumption could cause withdrawal symptoms in some people.

Autoimmune diseases, asthma, and organ transplants are a few of the situations in which the synthetic steroid hormone is administered.

Taking them for longer period of time, you may experience steriods  withdrawal symptoms. 

It becomes clearer how the medicine may create withdrawal symptoms when the drug’s interactions with natural hormones are understood. The body releases cortisol when it is under stress.

Steroid dependence means that if a person abruptly quits taking it, their adrenal glands will continue to produce suboptimal levels of cortisol. The body adjusts to the absence of steroids over a number of days.

Steroid withdrawal will occur in a person until the body could create more cortisol. Home cures for steroid withdrawal are typically ineffective.

In this situation, cortisol deficiency results in withdrawal symptoms. In this article, we will be looking at the symptoms, treatments and much more of steroid withdrawal


Symptoms Of Steroid Withdrawal

The most common symptoms of steroid withdrawal are:

  • Burning and stinging of the skin: The majority of people report feeling burning and stinging over the area of the skin where steroid injections were applied.

    When compared to papulopustular rash, this is typically more obvious in an erythematous edematous rash.

    The skin may at times feel excruciatingly painful. The burning and stinging could get worse if you are in the sun or hot weather.

  • Itchy skin: The skin where topical steroids were applied may itch in some people going through topical steroid withdrawal.

    Burning and stinging are typically followed by itching, which happens after the redness begins to subside. The itching could be so intense that it keeps you from falling asleep.

  • Hot flashes on the face: Some people who have topical steroid withdrawal on the face may go through hot flash episodes. Their face will flush crimson and may feel heated during these episodes.

A person is prone to put on weight after steroid withdrawal. Some of the typical psychological symptoms of steroid withdrawal include mood swings, hostility, delusions, and irritability.

A man may notice that his testicles are shrinking after steroid withdrawal. He could get painful, protracted erections. He might grow bald, get breasts, or experience infertility.

A woman after steroid withdrawal could observe male facial hair growth, male pattern baldness, a more masculine voice, and smaller breasts. Her clitoris is likely to expand, and her menstrual cycle may become erratic or cease entirely.

The following are a few of the most typical symptoms of steroid withdrawal that could be controlled in a safe setting:

  • Mood instability
  • Abdominal pain
  • Severe fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Body aches and joint pain
  • Dizziness
  • Appetite fluctuations
  • Light-headedness
  • Nausea and Vomiting

Treatments For Steroid Withdrawal Symptoms

Steroid withdrawal does not have a perfect cure because the causes are not entirely known, but also because any therapies may make the skin problem worse in such circumstances.

Additionally, starting any treatment without a doctor’s help is a terrible idea and should not be taken into consideration.

Steroid withdrawal is treated by stopping the usage of the drugs that cause it and controlling the withdrawal symptoms.

The initial step in treating steroid withdrawal in the majority of cases is to stop using steroid medicines.

Due to worries that abruptly quitting the steroid may increase the withdrawal symptoms, some doctors may advise reducing the steroid gradually.

However, given that some medical experts say that there is no difference between discontinuing suddenly and doing so gradually, some doctors would advise stopping the steroid abruptly if withdrawal symptoms start to appear.

Over-the-counter antihistamines, emollients, and painkillers that reduce inflammation, such as ibuprofen, may be used to relieve the discomfort.

Steroids may not be effective, but prescription medications might be; in the case of an infection, these might only be antibiotics.

Although there is not a specific drug that treats steroid withdrawal, various drugs are frequently taken while going through the withdrawal process.

These include antidepressants to control depressive withdrawal symptoms and to reduce the likelihood of suicidal deeds and thoughts.To treat headaches, muscle pain, and joint pain, analgesic drugs may be recommended.

When steroid use has significantly altered hormone levels, it may be necessary to employ hormonal support or replacement to restore hormone levels to baseline.

The other treatment option is to reintroduce the same treatment through oral medication, taper it down gradually, and then stop it completely.

However, there is no assurance that this will solve the problem. Leaving the afflicted skin alone and waiting for it to heal, however long that may take, is all that is required.

Always get medical advice from your doctor as soon as you suspect steroid withdrawal symptoms. They will be able to accurately diagnose your condition and start the most appropriate course of action.

Duration Of Steroid Withdrawal Symptoms

People who stop using steroids may be at risk for developing significant depression in the initial few months after ceasing and depression may last for a year or longer.

Hypogonadism, a disorder in which the ovaries or testes do not function properly, could also affect people and could continue for a year or more.

Erectile dysfunction, sadness, and decreased sex drive are some common symptoms. Although they could go away in a few weeks, they may continue for a few months or more.

Consult a mental health professional or an addiction specialist if you or someone you know is suffering from steroid withdrawal symptoms.

With the right assistance and care, it is possible to speed up the steroid withdrawal process and sustain steroid abstinence.


You should gradually cut back on your steroid intake. You’ll be given a regimen for taking the medication from your doctor. It’s crucial that you pay close attention to this schedule.

The doctor will order you to cease taking steroids after the dose has sufficiently decreased. Without consulting your doctor beforehand, do not reduce or stop taking the medication.

Your body may need a few weeks or months to naturally produce more cortisol. You could have steroid withdrawal symptoms at this time. These include experiencing fatigue, faintness, and dizziness.

Body aches and stomach pain could also be present. If you experience any unusual symptoms in addition to these, speak with your doctor.

Your body may take longer than usual to produce the additional steroids you require if you stop using them.

A quick blood test to check on your body’s health may be recommended by your doctor. They may ask you to start or resume taking your steroid medication if necessary.