Corticosteroids are a set of steroid hormones which are either produced in the adrenal cortex or are made synthetically. Corticosteroids produced naturally are known as systemic steroids, while those produced chemically are called synthetic steroids. Systemic steroids are given either orally or by injection. Adrenal cortex, found along the perimeter of the adrenal glands, produce two main corticosteroids, cortisol and aldosterone. When the adrenal glands stop producing the required amount of corticosteroids, synthetic steroids are given to the patients. Synthetic steroids are mainly recommended for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and allergies. Generally, synthetic corticosteroids prescribed by health care professionals are dexamethasone (available in the form of injection), hydrocortisone (available in the form of cream or lotion), fludrocortisone (taken orally), or prednisolone (can be injected or taken orally). Most corticosteroids medications can be used in intensive care units.
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Factors driving the growth of the global corticosteroids market include growing geriatric population, increasing incidence of chronic diseases, rising demand for topical corticosteroids, and surging investment in research and development. Companies are increasingly participating in mergers and acquisitions to strengthen their position in the market. Their increasing R&D investments are also expected to drive the corticosteroids market in the near future. However, government is putting pricing pressure on the companies which is anticipated to be a key restraint for the global corticosteroids market during the forecast period. Moreover, side effects associated with the use of corticosteroids, such as, severe amebic colitis, neuropsychiatric disorders, including anxiety and depression, metabolic changes, endocrine and gastrointestinal issues, etc. are projected to act as an impediment to the growth of the global corticosteroids market in the near future. Long-term use of corticosteroids increases the risk of staph blood infections. If used for a prolonged period of time, the side effects tend to outweigh the benefits associated with the medication. Reviews have been published in order to avoid side effects and medication errors of corticosteroids which arise primarily due to administration of wrong dosage to patients or if given to patients with wrong indications.
The global corticosteroids market can be segmented based on product, route of administration, application, end-user, mode of purchase, and region. In terms of product, the corticosteroids market can be divided into glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids. Cortisol, a glucocorticoid, which is important for the metabolism of carbohydrate, fat, and protein. They also have certain anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, immunosuppressive, and vascoconstrictive effects. Aldosterone, a mineralocorticoid hormone, is essential for sodium conservation in the kidney, salivary glands, sweat glands and colon, secretion of potassium, water retention, and stabilizing blood pressure.
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Based on route of administration, the corticosteroids market can be categorized into topical steroids, inhaled steroids, oral forms, and systemic forms. Topical corticosteroids are used on the skin, eye, and mucous membranes. In many countries, they are divided based on potency level, from the 1st to the 4th group. In countries such as the U.S. they are available in seven categories based on their potency level. Inhaled steroids are used for lungs, bronchi, mucosa, and sinuses, for example, flunisolide, fluticasone furoate, budesonide, and others. Examples of commonly available drugs in oral form are prednisone, and dexamethasone.
The systemic route of administration segment can be further categorized into intravenous route, sub-cutaneous route, and intra-muscular route. Topical usage is considered an efficient and convenient option. On the basis of application, corticosteroids are used for the treatment of rheumatology indications, skin allergies or skin problems, asthma, endocrinology indications, gastroenterology indications, including ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, haematological malignancies, prostate cancer, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and many more. In terms of chemical structure, corticosteroids can be segmented into four classes, Group A – Hydrocortisone type, Group B – Acetonides, Group C – Betamethasone type, and Group D – Esters. Based on end-user, the global corticosteroids market can be classified into hospitals, specialised clinics, and others. On the basis of mode of purchase, the market can be split into OTC-based and prescription-based.
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In terms of region, the global corticosteroids market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. North America is anticipated to dominate the global corticosteroids market by capturing the leading market share, which can be attributed to the developed economy, rising health care expenditure, increasing incidence of lifestyle-related diseases, and high adoption of technologically advanced products in the region.