Article: Volume 41 Number 4 Page 342 - May 2014

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  Dent Update 2014; 41: 342-344

Dental Pharmacology:  What Steroid Supplementation is Required for a Patient with Primary Adrenal Insufficiency Undergoing a Dental Procedure?

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Abstract: Patients with primary adrenal insufficiency (Addison’s disease) lack the endogenous steroid hormones cortisol and aldosterone and require daily steroid therapy (usually hydrocortisone and fludrocortisone) to replace them. These patients are unable to adapt physiologically to stress and may need supplemental steroid therapy when having dental procedures, to prevent adrenal crisis.This paper provides guidance on dental procedures for which steroid supplementation may be required in patients with primary adrenal insufficiency and gives advice on doses and timing of supplementation. It does not address the management of patients with secondary adrenal insufficiency caused by long-term use of high doses of steroids. This document is for guidance only. Patients with primary adrenal insufficiency should be assessed individually as steroid requirements will vary.

Clinical relevance: Although patients with primary adrenal insufficiency (Addison’s disease) are invariably very well informed about their steroid requirements prior to a dental procedure, dental staff should have an understanding of the steroid supplementation that may be required.

Author notes: Simone Henderson, BPharm, Medicines Information Pharmacist, North West Medicines Information Centre and National Dental Medicines Information Service, Pharmacy Practice Unit, 70 Pembroke Place, Liverpool, L69 3GF, UK.

Objective: To provide dental staff with an understanding of the steroid supplementation required for patients with primary adrenal insufficiency (Addison’s disease) prior to a dental procedure.

Belmont