Steroids are recommended in severe alcohol-induced hepatitis, but some data suggest that artificial nutrition could also be effective. We conducted a randomized trial comparing the short- and long-term effects of total enteral nutrition or steroids in these patients. A total of 71 patients (80% cirrhotic) were randomized to receive 40 mg/d prednisolone (n = 36) or enteral tube feeding (2,000 kcal/d) for 28 days (n = 35), and were followed for 1 year or until death. Side effects of treatment occurred in 5 patients on steroids and 10 on enteral nutrition (not significant). Eight enterally fed patients were prematurely withdrawn from the trial. Mortality during treatment was similar in both groups (9 of 36 vs. 11 of 35, intention-to-treat) but occurred earlier with enteral feeding (median 7 vs. 23 days; P =.025). Mortality during follow-up was higher with steroids (10 of 27 vs. 2 of 24 intention-to-treat; P =. 04). Seven steroid patients died within the first months of follow-up. In contrast to total enteral nutrition (TEN), infections accounted for 9 of 10 follow-up deaths in the steroid group. In conclusion, enteral feeding does not seem to be worse than steroids in the short-term treatment of severe alcohol-induced hepatitis, although death occurs earlier with enteral nutrition. However, steroid therapy is associated with a higher mortality rate in the immediate weeks after treatment, mainly because of infections. A possible synergistic effect of both treatments should be investigated.
Corticosteroids have been used as drug treatment for some time. Lewis Sarett of Merck & Co. was the first to synthesize cortisone, using a complicated 36-step process that started with deoxycholic acid, which was extracted from ox bile .  The low efficiency of converting deoxycholic acid into cortisone led to a cost of US $200 per gram. Russell Marker , at Syntex , discovered a much cheaper and more convenient starting material, diosgenin from wild Mexican yams . His conversion of diosgenin into progesterone by a four-step process now known as Marker degradation was an important step in mass production of all steroidal hormones, including cortisone and chemicals used in hormonal contraception .  In 1952, . Peterson and . Murray of Upjohn developed a process that used Rhizopus mold to oxidize progesterone into a compound that was readily converted to cortisone.  The ability to cheaply synthesize large quantities of cortisone from the diosgenin in yams resulted in a rapid drop in price to US $6 per gram, falling to $ per gram by 1980. Percy Julian's research also aided progress in the field.  The exact nature of cortisone's anti-inflammatory action remained a mystery for years after, however, until the leukocyte adhesion cascade and the role of phospholipase A2 in the production of prostaglandins and leukotrienes was fully understood in the early 1980s.
Effects of steroid withdrawal are known to emulate and kick start many other medical complications as well. Weakness, loss of appetite, fatigue, nausea, weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea (further resulting in liquid and electrolyte complications), as well as abdominal pain are some of the most common effects that steroid withdrawal is often associated with. Constant decrease in blood pressure which simultaneously causes a person to faint or causes fits and dizziness are other complications the steroid use can cause.
Blood sugar levels are known to have dropped in many people who consume steroids. In women, menstrual changes have been reported widely. Muscle and joint pains, fever, changes in mentality, as well as elevation in calcium levels have been reported in some cases. Gastrointestinal contractions decrease dramatically which may ultimately lead to the swelling of the intestine .