Corticosteroids Peyronie's Treatment
Corticosteroids Peyronie's treatment is among the more controversial Peyronie's treatments available.
Many feel that the Corticosteroids side effects are too severe to outweigh the potentials benefits from the treatment. In this article I tackle these issues with references to scientific studies.
What Is Corticosteroids?
Corticosteroids are steroid medications and contain manmade version of the hormone cortisol (naturally produced in the adrenal cortex).
Corticosteroids reduce inflammation by blocking the production of substances in the immune system that trigger inflammatory actions. This feature of the drug is the reason it has been used to treat Peyronie's disease.
Corticosteroids are available as tablets, inhalers, injections, as well as topical corticosteroids (gels, lotions, creams). Corticosteroids injections have been used to treat Peyronie's patients.
How Does Corticosteroids Injections For Peyronie's Work?
Corticosteroids Peyronie's treatments vary but the two most common ones include the use of Dexamethasone (Decadron) or Triamcinolone Hexacetonide (Aristospan Intralesional). In both cases, the drug is injected directly into the penis plaque and the tissues immediately adjacent to it.
Decadron is usually administered weekly for 10 week (dosage 0.2 - 0.4 mg), while Aristospan Intralesional is injected once every six week for up to six injections (dosage 2 mg).
Only professional healthcare workers (ideally a doctor) should conduct Corticosteroids Peyronie's treatment.
What Are The Corticosteroids Benefits?
Corticosteroids shots deliver the medication directly to the Peyronie's plaque, hence less affect to the rest of your body.
What Are The Corticosteroids Downside?
Many Peyronie's patients find injection treatments difficult experience. Some find them stressful, others embarrassing and some find them painful.
The cost of Corticosteroids treatment can be high. The cost depends on the treatment plan, i.e. number of injections, where you live and if your public healthcare or health insurance provider covers some / all of the cost involved.
What Are The Corticosteroids Side Effects?
By suppressing the immune system, Corticosteroids help control conditions when the immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues. However, this also reduces the immune system function, i.e. by obstructing the function of white blood cells. Increased susceptibility of infection is therefore one of the Corticosteroids side effects.
The list of other potential Corticosteroids side effects is long and includes weight gain, high blood pressure and various psychological effects of Corticosteroids, like mood swing and depression.
Injected Corticosteroids side effects include infection at the injection site, reduction in the size of penile tissue and thinning of the skin.
There are also concerns that using Corticosteroids may complicate future surgical procedures, i.e. if penis surgery would become necessary at some later point.
Is There Health Risk Involved
In Corticosteroids Peyronie's Treatment?
Corticosteroids, like all steroid medications, can cause health risk if used in high doses over prolonged period.
It is therefore imperative that you work closely with your doctor on how to minimize the various Corticosteroids side effects. Corticosteroids should always be given in the lowest possible dosage needed for positive result.
The Results Of Corticosteroids Peyronie's Treatment
As always there are mixed reports of results but I have not been able to find any convincing evidence of great benefits. Corticosteroids Peyronie's treatments have not been shown to prevent the disease progression or affect curvature.
Corticosteroids injections for Peyronie's may though be effective during the initial formation of the penis plaque and may help with persistent plaque pain.
For Corticosteroids Injections For Peyronie's Disease
Review of Peyronie's injection therapies published in 2007 found six studies using Corticosteroids injections for Peyronie's.
They all showed positive results but they were all of level 4 quality based on the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine criteria. It ranks studies from the strongest (level 1) to the weakest (level 5) strength of evidence (European Urology 2007 ).
This Peyronie's disease review concludes:
“Steroids have been injected into plaque in an effort to exploit their anti-inflammatory properties. Several short-term studies have been reported with good responses; however, intralesional steroids have many local adverse effects, including tissue atrophy and thinning of skin.32The use of intralesional steroids may help persistent plaque pain, but they should not be used to treat curvature” (Reviews in Urology 2003 )
While the authors of this article feel:
“In our population, the reputation of inefficacy and morbidity of local corticosteroid therapy appears to be unjustified. There were no cases of deterioration, but, on the contrary, stabilization and especially very marked and rapid efficacy on pain, but a lesser efficacy on curvature and plaque. Local steroid therapy appears justified during the acute phase, as the injection allows corticosteroids to exert their anti-inflammatory action in situ in line with the pathophysiology of the disease. A standardized, multicentre, prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled study could confirm our impressions” (Prog Urol. 2006 )
My Personal Experience
And Opinion Of Corticosteroids Peyronie's Treatment
I do not have personal experience of using Corticosteroids for Peyronie's disease.
The many Corticosteroids side effects and the limited scientific support for its effectiveness means I doubt I would consider it as an option for my Peyronie's disease. The potentially high cost of Corticosteroids treatment is also off-putting.
I feel other treatment options offer more promising results, e.g. the Three Approach Nonsurgical Treatments recommended by Dr. Levine.
Have you used Corticosteroids in your fight against the Peyronie's disease?
If so, please use the form below and leave your Comments, or relevant practical advice to other Peyronie's sufferers.