Prednisone belongs to a class of medications called corticosteroids. It is used to treat a number of disorders. Most often it is prescribed to treat an allergic reaction, certain skin diseases, asthma attacks and severe arthritis. It may also be used to treat a corticosteroids deficiency, cancers, ulcerative colitis and blood disorders. This medication reduces inflammation, swelling and irritation.
The doctor you consulted may have prescribed this medication for conditions different from those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not consulted your doctor about it or you do not know why you are taking this medicine, please contact the doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without first consulting your doctor.
How Should I Use This Medicine?
The dose to be prescribed greatly depends on the condition that needs to be treated. The patient is also a predetermining factor for treatment prescription. Prednisone must be taken on a full stomach so that stomach upset is completely avoided. If the treatment was long term, do not stop without talking to the doctor. In case of stopping treatment, the dose will need be decreased slowly as per the doctor’s instructions. Several factors may determine the dose of medication a person would need, such as other medical conditions, weight and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way the medication is taken without consulting your doctor.
It would prove invaluably wise to take this drug just as prescribed by the doctor. In the event where you miss a dose, you would want to take it as soon as possible and then continue with your regular schedule. In case it is nearly time for the next dosage, simply skip the missed one and resume your regular schedule. It is not advisable to take two doses at the moment so as to make up for a missed one. Do not throw medicines in wastewater (e.g. Not in the sink or in the toilet) or with household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of unused or expired medications.
Who Should Not Take It?
Prednisone should not be administered in the following cases:
• allergy to prednisone or any of its ingredients
• internal fungal infection
• Administration of a live virus vaccine (this applies only to people who take large doses of prednisone, which has an immunosuppressive effect)
What Are The Possible Side Effects Of This Medicine?
The following side effects may go away as your body adjusts to the medicine. Please consult your doctor if they persist or become bothersome.
More Frequent Effects
- Increased appetite: You eat too much and too regularly
- Indigestion: This could be defined as an imperfect or incomplete digestion, usually accompanied by symptoms like: pain, nausea and vomiting, acid regurgitation, heartburn, belching and accumulation of gas.
- Nervousness or restlessness: A condition of unrest and of irritability. You are very irritable and find it difficult to sit in one place
Less Common Or Rare Effects
- Changes in pigmentation: Your skin becomes lighter or darker than its normal shade.
- Dizziness or lightheadedness: Also known as Vertigo, this is a condition in which a person feels a loss of balance and dizziness, as if his or her surrounding is moving, rotating or oscillating. This can cause nausea and disability.
- Redness of the face or cheeks: A sudden rush of blood to the face causing instant redness and heat.
- Hiccups: This is an unexpected spasmodic contraction of your diaphragm, which causes a beginning of inspiration that is suddenly checked by a closure of the glottis, thus causing a characteristic sound.
- Increased sweating: You sweat profusely and uncontrollably
- Feeling of spin: You feel like you are spinning around.
Consult your doctor immediately if any of the side effects listed below occur:
Less Common Ones
- Decreased or blurred vision: a decrease in visual acuity, [which] may be the result of errors of refraction or ocular disease.
- Frequent urination: Going to the toilet one to many times with a few minutes.
- Increased thirst: You develop an insatiable need to always ingest fluids.
- Confusion: incoherence of thought causing abnormal behavior.
- Depression: A mood characterized by dejection, psychomotor hypo-activity, thoughts of hopelessness and guilt.
- Excitement: An exciting or being excited; agitation
- Hallucinations: False sensory perception characterized by a lack of external stimulus.
- False sense of being important or ill-treatment
- Mood swings (sudden and wide): Oscillation from depression to elation, as seen in cyclothymic personality or, in a more extreme degree, in alternation between manic and depressive stages of manic-depressive psychosis.
- Rash or hives: Transient ender red or bluish firm papules or nodules that occur during non-eruptive febrile diseases.
Other Precautions Or Warnings
Diabetes: Prednisone causes a rise in blood sugar (glucose in the blood), therefore, hyperglycemia can occur, glucose tolerance may be modified and diabetes mellitus may be aggravated. People with diabetes should carefully monitor their blood sugar and report any abnormalities to their doctor.
Electrolytes: Large doses of prednisone are not compatible with electrolytes. You may have to reduce salt and potassium supplements intake.
Fertility: In some men, corticosteroids such as prednisone may increase or decrease motility and number of sperm.
Fungal infections: This medication may worsen internal fungal infections and therefore you should not take it if you have such an infection.
Infection: This medication may mask some signs of infection, and new infections may occur during treatment with prednisone.
Osteoporosis: The prolonged use of prednisone may increase the risk of osteoporosis (brittle bones).
Inform all doctors you see that you are taking prednisone. The physician should closely monitor the growth and development of infants and children receiving long-term treatment with prednisone.