Cortisone is the name used to describe a group of corticosteroids secreted by the adrenal gland or manufactured synthetically.

There are 2 main groups of corticosteroids:

1. Glucocorticosteroids

Cortisol (or hydrocortisone) and corticosterone are the names given to glucocorticoids.
Their functions are:

  • To regulate carbohydrate metabolism
  • To regulate the body’s response to stress

Naturally occurring and synthetic glucocorticoids have very powerful anti-inflammatory effects and are used to treat conditions that involve inflammation.

2. Mineralocorticoids

Aldosterone is the name given to the main mineralocorticoid.
Its functions are associated with the maintenance of electrolyte balance in the body.

Cortisone is used to treat:

  • Inflammatory conditions
  • Diseases where there is a deficiency of corticosteroid hormones e.g.Addison’s Disease
  • Following the surgical removal of the adrenal glands.

Cortisone treatment may have serious side effects such as nervous and hormone disturbances, stomach ulcers and bleeding, muscle and bone damage and eye changes. It can be given by mouth or injection and should only be used to treat serious conditions.

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