Corticosteroids are steroids produced within the adrenal cortex. They are divided into two main groups according to their actions:
- glucocorticoids: anti-inflammatory, immunosuppressive and fuel substrate modulation predominate
- mineralocorticoids: fluid and salt balance
To an extent, there is an overlap of function between the groups.
A small amount of androgen is also produced within the adrenal cortex.
'Steroids', in lay terms, is often used wrongly as a label for corticosteroids and particularly the glucocorticoid prednisolone.
Last reviewed 09/2021