The home care nurse is conducting patient teaching with a patient on corticosteroid therapy. To achieve consistency with the bodys natural secretion of cortisol, when would the home care nurse instruct the patient to take his or her corticosteroids?

Answer Explanation: In keeping with the natural secretion of cortisol, the best time of day for the total corticosteroid dose is in the morning from 7 to 8 AM. Large-dose therapy at 8 AM, when the adrenal gland is most active, produces maximal suppression of the gland. Also, a large 8 AM dose is more physiologic because it allows the body to escape effects of the steroids from 4 PM to 6 AM, when serum levels are normally low, thus minimizing cushingoid effects.

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