Steroids – Side Effects Nursing Mnemonic (6 S’s)

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6 S’s

  • S-Sugar – hyperglycemia
  • S-Soggy Bones – causes osteoporosis
  • S-Sick – decreased immunity
  • S-Sad – depression
  • S-Salt – water and salt retention (hypertension)
  • S-Sex – decreased libido


Steroids are an effective treatment for asthma, COPD, Crohn’s, Lupus and more. However,they have the potential for very serious side effects, which are indicated by the 6 S’s. Steroids can be taken by mouth, via an inhaler, topically, or via injection.

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