Corticosteroids are medicines that have varying strengths of action. Some of them are the same, while others are ten times more powerful. Below, we’ll tell you what is steroid dose conversion, and how to calculate it using online tools.
Steroid conversion chart – what does it mean?
First, we will tell you a bit about corticosteroids. According to the corticosteroid definition, these hormones imply substances produced by the adrenal cortex. These hormonal substances regulate the mineral metabolism (the so-called mineralocorticoids, like aldosterone and cortexone) and the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats (the so-called glucocorticoids). In addition, on the basis of synthetic versions of these medicines, highly effective drugs are produced, which are used to fight against many inflammatory and allergic diseases. These drugs are available in the following forms:
Depending on the duration of the therapeutic effect, all glucocorticoids are divided into 3 groups. Knowledge of equivalent doses of corticosteroids allows, if it is needed, to replace one drug with another. The previous principle: “pill per pill” (that is, if healthcare professionals had to switch the patient to another glucocorticoid, he or she was given the same quantity of tablets of the new drug as he administered before the replacement), currently does not work. This is explained by the introduction into medical practice of medicinal forms of glucocorticoids with different contents of the active substance. These steroids have different effects, for instance, 1 portion of betamethasone is equal to thirty doses of hydrocortisone in terms of glucocorticoid activity.
The dose of glucocorticoids, prescribed at the beginning of the treatment of a disease, depends mainly on the form and severity of the illness. The amount of the dosage is also affected by the age of the patient, presence/absence of co-existing diseases, simultaneous administration of other meds, and other factors.
Steroid conversion table – information about corticosteroids’ strength
Natural glucocorticoids have mineralocorticoid activity, although weaker than real mineralocorticoids. Non-fluorinated semi-synthetic glucocorticoids also possess mineralocorticoid effects (which in turn are inferior to those of natural glucocorticoids). There is no mineralocorticoid activity in fluoridated meds. Glucocorticoid activity of semi-synthetic meds is higher than that of cortisone and hydrocortisone, which is explained by a lower binding to protein compared to naturally occurring glucocorticoids. A feature of fluoridated drugs is a slower metabolism in the body, which entails an increase in the duration of action of drugs.
Here is a description of the strength and conversion of corticosteroids from 3 classes.
1) Short-term action corticosteroids.
- Hydrocortisone. Glucocorticoid activity of this substance is equal to 1. The same applies to its mineralocorticoid activity.
- Cortisone. The glucocorticoid activity of this agent is 0.8. The mineralocorticoid effect of this substance is 1.
- Prednisone. The glucocorticoid activity of this substance is 4. The mineralocorticoid activity of this substance is 0.8.
- Prednisolone. The glucocorticoid activity of this substance is 4. The mineralocorticoid activity of this substance is 0.8.
- Methylprednisolone. The glucocorticoid activity of this substance is 5. The mineralocorticoid activity of this substance is 0.5
2) Medium-term action corticosteroids. This group include triamcinolone. Its glucocorticoid activity is 5. It does not have mineralocorticoid activity.
3) Long-term action hormones. Dexamethasone & betamethasone belong to this group of medicines. They have potent glucocorticoid activity and have no mineralocorticoid activity.
This steroid conversion table is used by physicians to prescribe the optimal dosage of steroids to patients.
When dosing, doctor and patient also need to consider the strength and the duration of the action, not only the steroid conversion in milligrams. For instance, drugs such as Dexamethasone have prolonged half-life, therefore, they don’t require frequent consumption.
Steroid conversion calculator – what is it?
If you do not want to look for a steroid conversion chart and study it, we recommend that you use a useful tool called steroid conversion calculator. For instance, such a calculator can be found on the MDApp website. This calculator consists of three main fields:
- Steroid to convert from. We have typed “cortisone” there. You can choose another medicament.
- Dosage to convert (in mg). We have typed “1” there. You can type another number (it will denote the number of grams of the drug).
- Steroid to convert to. We’ve selected “hydrocortisone” there. You have a possibility choose another medication that belongs to the group of corticosteroids.
After you have filled in all the fields in this excellent online calculator, you need to click on the “Calculate” button. In this case, we obtained the following result: “A dose of 1 mg of Cortisone is approximately equivalent to 0.8 mg of Hydrocortisone. Please note that medical specialists are also required to consider potency and the duration of the effect not only the steroid conversion in mg. ” Сlick the “Reset” button to clear all fields and start the calculation again.
Also, you can get the result in pdf format and print it on the printer. It is noteworthy that this pdf file contains a disclaimer: “This pdf or any of the information contained in it should NOT be considered as a substitute for any professional medical service, NOR as a substitute for clinical judgement. People are responsible for the way they use the information provided.”
A similar steroid conversion calculator can also be found on the Mdcalc website. This calculator was created by a medical specialist named Bryan D. Hayes. We decided to test this calculator. We selected triamcinolone in the “Converting from” section and cortisone in the “Converting to” section. The dosage was chosen in the amount of 1 mg. Here’s what we got: “6 mg: Approximate Cortisone Equivalence to 1mg of Triamcinolone”.
Another calculator for corticosteroids is available on the Medcalc website.
We have seen information on the Internet that some sites offer anabolic steroid conversion calculators. Unfortunately, we could not find any normal tools that could correctly calculate the conversion of these drugs. Maybe you will succeed.