Prednisone is corticosteroid taken in many cases including prevention the body from rejecting transplanted organs and suppressing the immune system. So we will mention only the most typical or established uses. Prednisone is most typically taken for treating several types of arthritis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, allergic reactions, systemic lupus, asthma and harsh psoriasis. You can also take it for treating leukemias, lymphomas, autoimmune hemolytic anemia and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. Prednisone is used as substitution therapy in patients whose adrenal glands do not produce enough cortisol.
Tablets of Prednisone are available in form of 2.5, 5, 10, 20, and 50 mg. Syrup or mixture of 5mg/5ml. The starting dose of Prednisone differs depending on the age of the patient and the condition being treated. Corticosteroids rarely produce immediate effects and should be taken for several days before you can observe maximal effects. The initial dose may vary from 5 to 60 mg per day and often is fixed depending on the response of the condition being treated. It can take much more time before conditions respond to treatment. Protracted Prednisone therapy makes the adrenal glands atrophy and stop producing cortisol. In order to give the adrenal glands time to recover, when Prednisone is terminated after a long period of therapy, the dose of Prednisone should be gradually lowered. (See side effects.) We suggest that you take Prednisone with food.
Prednisone is an oral, artificial (synthetic) corticosteroid. It is taken for suppressing the immune system and inflammation. Its effects are similar to other corticosteroids such as prednisolone (Prelone), methylprednisolone (Medrol), triamcinolone (Kenacort), and dexamethasone (Decadron). The artificial corticosteroids mentioned above imitate the action of cortisol (hydrocortisone), the naturally-occurring corticosteroid, which adrenal glands in the body produce. The effects of corticosteroids on the body are numerous, but their most common usage is for their powerful anti-inflammatory effects, especially in such conditions when the immune system plays an important role. Such conditions include asthma, arthritis, bronchitis, certain skin rashes, colitis, and inflammatory or allergic conditions of the nose and eyes. Prednisone is inert in the body and first must be converted to prednisolone by ferments in the liver in order to be effective. Hence, the effects of Prednisone may not be so strong in people suffering from liver disease with inferior ability to convert Prednisone to prednisolone.
If you take one dose each day, take the forgotten dose as soon as you remember. However, skip the dose you missed, if you don't remember until the next day, and take only your routine daily dose. If you take more than one dose each day, you can either take the missed dose as soon as possible, or you can take two doses simultaneously when next dose time comes. If you take one dose every other day, take the missed dose as soon as you remember, then return to your routine.
The medicine should be kept at room temperature 20-25 degrees C (68-77 degrees F), and protected from humidity.
Prednisone Safety information
Do not take alcohol while treatment with Prednisone. Alcohol and Prednisone, acting together, can do harm to the stomach. Prednisone may weaken your immune system while being taken, so keep off sources of infection and wash your hands often and avoid touching the mouth and eyes. Avoid receiving any vaccinations during Prednisone treatment without first consulting your doctor. Prednisone may interact with phenytoin (Dilantin) and estrogens. Estrogens can lower the action of ferments in the liver that eliminate prednisolone, the active form of Prednisone. Prednisolone levels in the organism may increase and lead to repeated side effects in response. Phenytoin makes ferments in the liver that eliminate Prednisone more active, and thereby the effectiveness of Prednisone may decrease. Therefore, if you take phenytoin, you may need an increased dose of Prednisone. Corticosteroids penetrate into breast milk and may lead to side effects in the nursing infant. There is less chance in comparison with other corticosteroids that Prednisone passes through breast milk, but it may still be dangerous to the infant.
Prednisone Side effects
Side effects of Prednisone and other corticosteroids may vary from soft irritations to harsh, irreversible harm, and they happen more often with higher doses and more protracted treatment. Side effects include high blood pressure, weight gain, retention of sodium (salt) and fluid, potassium loss, headache and muscle weakness. Prednisone also causes thinning and easy bruising of the skin, growth of facial hair, puffiness of the face (moon face), rounding of the upper back ("buffalo hump"), cataracts, glaucoma, inferior wound-healing, worsening of diabetes, tardiness of growth in children, ulcers in the stomach and duodenum, irregular menses, convulsions, obesity, and psychiatric disturbances. The psychiatric disturbances can include sleeplessness, euphoria, personality changes, depression, mood swings, and even psychotic behavior. Prednisone restrains the immune system and, therefore, increases the severity or frequency of infections and decreases the potency of antibiotics and vaccines. Prednisone can lead to osteoporosis, which makes bones easy to break. Patients taking prolonged Prednisone treatment often receive supplementary calcium and vitamin D to neutralize the effects on bones. However, it may be not enough to take Calcium and vitamin D, and additional treatment with bisphosphonates such as risedronate (Actonel) and alendronate (Fosamax) can be required. Calcitonin (Miacalcin) is also effective. Bone density scans can help monitoring the development of osteoporosis and the need for treatment.
Cancel taking Prednisone and call your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical attention, if you suffer from any of the following harsh side effects: increased blood pressure (blurred vision or severe headache); an allergic reaction (tumor of your tongue, lips, or hives; or face; difficulty breathing); or sudden weight gain (more than 5 pounds in a day or two).Other, less severe side effects can occur possibly. Continue to take Prednisone and consult with your doctor if you suffer from nausea, insomnia; fatigue or dizziness; vomiting, or stomach upset; problems with diabetes control; muscle weakness or articulation pain; or increased hunger or thirst. Other side effects that happen only rarely, typically with high doses of Prednisone, include increased hair growth, acne, glaucoma, cataracts, thinning of the skin, roundness of the face, osteoporosis, and changes in behavior. Side effects different from those listed above can also occur. Consult with your doctor about any side effect that seems strange or that bothers you too much.
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