Psychiatric side effects of acute high-dose corticosteroid therapy in neurological conditions

Itay Lotan*, Liora Fireman, Felix Benninger, Abraham Weizman, Israel Steiner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It has been implied that high-dose corticosteroids (CSs) commonly cause psychiatric side effects. Here, we examined the rate and risk factors of psychiatric side effects during high-dose CS treatment in patients with neurological disorders. Patients treated with high-dose intravenous CSs for neurological disorders were evaluated for depression, mania, and psychosis using the Beck Depression Inventory, the Geriatric Depression Scale, the Young Mania Rating Scale, and the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale before CS treatment, immediately after, and 1 month following treatment. Forty-nine consecutive patients were monitored. There was a reduction in the Beck Depression Inventory and Geriatric Depression Scale scores as well as in the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale scores throughout the study period and a transitory increase in the Young Mania Rating Scale score immediately after CS administration. Thus, a tendency to develop transient mild euphoria during high-dose CS treatment exists, but is reversible at 1 month, whereas a reduction in depressive symptoms tended to persist. Overall, our data indicate that high-dose CS treatment for neurological diseases is relatively safe with respect to psychiatric complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-231
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Clinical Psychopharmacology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2016


  • affective side effects
  • corticosteroids
  • depression
  • mania
  • psychosis
  • steroid reaction


Dive into the research topics of 'Psychiatric side effects of acute high-dose corticosteroid therapy in neurological conditions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this