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How do steroids work?

Steroids decrease inflammation and reduce the activity of the immune system. Inflammation is a process by which the body’s white blood cells and chemicals protect the body against infection and foreign organisms such as bacteria and viruses.

In certain diseases, however, the body’s defense system (immune system) doesn’t function properly and is overactive. This may cause inflammation to work against the body’s own tissues and cause tissue damage. Inflammation is characterized by redness, warmth, swelling and pain.

Steroids reduce the production of inflammatory chemicals in order to minimize tissue damage. Steroids also reduce the activity of the immune system by affecting the function of white blood cells.

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