What is prednisone?
Prednisone is a steroid medication that requires a prescription. It is available in the form of an immediate-release tablet, a delayed-release tablet, and a liquid solution.
Prednisone is used to reduce inflammation and keep your immune system in check if it is overactive. Prednisone is used to treat allergic disorders, skin conditions, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and many other conditions.
How does it function?
Steroid drugs, such as prednisone, work by suppressing immune system activity. Your immune system serves as your body’s defense system. Steroids function by slowing the body’s response to disease or injury. Prednisone can help alleviate some immune-related symptoms, such as inflammation and swelling.
How to Use Prednisone?
To avoid stomach upset, take this medication by mouth with food or milk, as directed by your doctor. Unless otherwise directed by your doctor, take this medication in tablet form with a full glass of water (8 ounces/240 milliliters). You are taking this medication in liquid form, carefully measure the dose with a special measuring device/spoon. If you use a regular spoon, you may not get the correct dose. But you are only given one dose per day, take it first thing in the morning before 9 a.m.
Take this medication exactly as your doctor has prescribed. Follow the dosing instructions exactly. The duration and dosage of treatment are determine by your medical condition and response to treatment. If you take this medication on a different schedule than daily (for example, every other day), a reminder on your calendar may be helpful.
Do not discontinue this medication without first consulting your doctor. When this medication is abruptly discontinue, some conditions may worsen. You may also experience fatigue, weight loss, nausea, muscle pain, headache, tiredness, and dizziness. Your doctor may gradually reduce your dose to prevent these symptoms while you are discontinuing treatment with this drug. For more information, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
Prednisone is used to treat a variety of conditions, including allergic disorders, skin conditions, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, and breathing disorders.
If you have a fungal infection that requires oral antifungals, you should avoid taking prednisone. Topical antifungals may not be a problem, but always inform your doctor about any other medications you’re taking before beginning this medication.
Steroid medication can weaken your immune system, making infection more likely. Stay away from people who are sick or have infections. While on prednisone, do not receive a “live” vaccine.
If you have shortness of breath, severe pain in your upper stomach, bloody or tarry stools, severe depression, changes in personality or behavior, vision problems, or eye pain, call your doctor right away.
What are the side effects of prednisone?
It is possible to experience nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, heartburn, difficulty sleeping, increased sweating, or acne. Inform your doctor or pharmacist right away if any of these effects persist or worsen.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because the benefit to you outweighs the risk of side effects. Many people who take this medication have no serious side effects.
Inform your doctor right away if you experience any of the following serious side effects: muscle pain/cramps, irregular heartbeat, weakness, swelling hands/ankles/feet, unusual weight gain, signs of infection (such as persistent sore throat, fever), vision problems (such as blurred vision), symptoms of stomach/intestinal bleeding (such as stomach/abdominal pain, black/tarry stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds), mental/mood changes.
This medication may occasionally cause your blood sugar to rise, which can lead to or worsen diabetes. If you experience symptoms of high blood sugar, such as increased thirst or urination, contact your doctor right away. If you already have diabetes, check your blood sugar levels on a regular basis and report the results to your doctor. Your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet may need to be adjust by your doctor.
It is uncommon for this product to cause a severe allergic reaction. However, seek medical attention immediately if you notice any of the following symptoms of a severe allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing.
This is not an exhaustive list of potential side effects. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you notice any other side effects not listed above.
Choosing the right Dose
Prednisone is also prescribed at the lowest possible dose to control the disease. For some conditions, however, this is not possible, and higher doses are require. If this is the case, your doctor will weigh the advantages and disadvantages of treatment.
You are at risk of osteoporosis, for example, your doctor will need to monitor your condition and may prescribe supplements to protect your bones.
If you have open-angle glaucoma and must take prednisone, your healthcare provider may want you to see an eye healthcare provider to closely monitor for any changes in eye pressure or worsening glaucoma symptoms.
What Conditions Does Prednisone Treat?
Prednisone is used by doctors to treat a wide range of conditions cause by inflammation and overactive immune systems. The medication will not cure the condition, but it will help manage the symptoms.
In clinical trials on patients with rheumatoid arthritis, for example, patients who took delayed-release prednisone experienced a reduction in the duration of morning stiffness. According to the Rayos drug label, patients who took prednisone had 46 minutes of morning stiffness versus 85 minutes in people who took a placebo.
Prednisone may also be beneficial for people with severe asthma. When other therapies fail to control symptoms of an asthma flare, the Global Initiative for Asthma recommends short-term steroids (for a few days). Because of this, long-term steroids are less commonly used.
What can I do to maintain our health while on prednisone?
When administering this and other medications, your healthcare provider will weigh the potential benefits and side effects. Prednisone has helped many people without causing serious side effects. Talking to your doctor, taking your medication as directed, and taking the necessary precautions can help you get the most out of prednisone while minimizing side effects. Here are some things you can do to stay healthy:
- Take your medication exactly as directed.
- Avoid taking two doses. Inquire with your healthcare provider about what to do if you miss a dose.
- Do not stop taking the medication without first consulting with your doctor. To avoid the effects of withdrawal, your prednisone dose is usually tapere (or gradually reduced). A sudden cessation of prednisone use can result in withdrawal symptoms such as:
- Mood swings that are dramatic
- Reduce your intake of salt and sugar.
- Keep track of your weight.
If you have any sudden or unusual symptoms, such as dizziness, vision problems, shortness of breath, or an irregular heartbeat, contact your healthcare provider.