Corticosteroids are substances that are similar, in pharmacology and chemistry, to the corticosteroids naturally produced by the body (namely in the cortex of the adrenal gland on top of the kidneys) such as aldosterone and cortisol (or hydrocortisone as it is referred to during medical use), which are further categorized as mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids, respectively. Mineralocorticoids control electrolyte and water levels via acting on the kidneys to control fluid and electrolyte retention. Glucocorticoids control the body's immune responses and carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism (e.g., they all rise blood sugar levels). They bind to separate receptors (namely the mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid receptors, respectively), both of which are nuclear receptors that affect gene expression.
Medically-utilized corticosteroids include:[note 1]
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- ↑ Only systemically-utilized (i.e., taken by mouth or by injection) agents and notable agents are listed
- ↑ Brunton, LL; Chabner, BA; Knollmann, BC, ed. (2010). "Chapter 42. ACTH, Adrenal Steroids, and Pharmacology of the Adrenal Cortex". Goodman & Gilman's Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics (12th ed.). New York, USA: McGraw-Hill Professional. ISBN 978-0-07-162442-8.