Check capillary blood glucose before starting steroids (to assess risk), within 7 days of commencing steroids and on a regular basis while the patient remains on steroids. Mmonitor for symptoms which might indicate hyperglycaemia e.g. increased thirst, increased frequency of micturition.
What should the patient be told?
- Give patient a steroid card if they do not already carry one.
- Explain the reason(s) for prescribing steroid, including anticipated benefits and side effects.
- Take early in the day.
- Don’t stop suddenly, especially if steroids have been taken for more than 3 weeks – give a plan for dose reduction.
- Improvement does not mean tumour regression.
- To seek medical help if more unwell while taking corticosteroids, or come into contact with infectious disease (as recommended on steroid card).