Corticosteroids

There are two types of corticosteroids used in clinical practice:

(1) Glucocorticoids which act to suppress the inflammatory response.

(2) Mineralocorticoids which modify salt and water balance.

Only those steroids with a large anti-inflammatory activity (glucocorticoids) and a low water balance (mineralocorticoids) are useful in pain management (Li et al. 2007, Rumunstad and Audun 2007).

Steroid preparations used as injectables (Benzon et al. 2007) for epidural, intra-articular, periarticular, and intramuscular administration include methylprednisolone acetate, triamci-nalone acetonide, triamcinalone diacetate, betamethasone, and dexamethasone. These drugs are discussed in detail below.

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