Rheumatology International

, Volume 38, Issue 12, pp 2337–2343 | Cite as

Dose-dependent bradycardia as a rare side effect of corticosteroids: a case report and review of the literature

  • Döndü Üsküdar CansuEmail author
  • Erdal Bodakçi
  • Cengiz Korkmaz
Cases with a Message


Corticosteroids rank at the first place among the most commonly used immunosuppressive agents in the rheumatology practice. Although their conventional adverse effects including hyperglycemia, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and osteoporosis are well-recognized and managed, steroid-induced cardiac arrhythmias are known to a lesser extent. In this regard, steroid-associated bradycardia is rarely expected and not very well known. Reported cases of steroid-associated bradycardias in the literature predominantly have emerged during the course of intravenous high-dose (pulse) methylprednisolone (MP) administrations. In this paper, we report a patient who developed sinus bradycardia following 52 mg of oral MP administration, improved once the drug was discontinued but repeated with the re-administration. Hence, the patient was shifted to prednisolone (PRED), and again suffered bradycardia which recovered upon dose reduction. Presenting this case along with other similar rare cases in the literature, our aim is to draw attention of fellow rheumatologists, who widely use steroids, to bradycardia—a rare and dose-dependent side effect of steroids.


Corticosteroids Arrhythmias Rheumatology Bradycardia 


Author contributions

Study concept and design: DUC, EB, and CK; analysis and interpretation of data: DUC, EB, and CK; drafting of the manuscript: DUC; critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: DUC, EB, and CK; study supervision: DUC, EB, and CK.



Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from our patient.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal MedicineEskişehir Osmangazi UniversityEskisehirTurkey

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