Prednisone Consumer information
What is Prednisone?
It’s a synthetic corticosteroid, i.e. it’s an artificial version of the natural cortisol produced by your adrenal gland.
What is Prednisone used to treat?
It’s particularly useful to treat diseases and disorders where inflammation is the major part of the problem. This includes asthma, serious skin disorders and arthritis. It’s also used to treat problems in your autoimmune system and, in combination with other drugs, to treat tumors and some cancers.
What should you know before using Prednisone?
Steroids can have a wide range of effects within the human body and you should always get detailed guidance before deciding to use one. It can affect the way in which other diseases behave, and there is a long list of other drugs that can interact adversely. FInally, there can be difficulties if your stress levels rise or you are unlucky enough to fall ill with a bacterial or viral disease. Steroids weaken your immune system and make you more likely to be infected. This means you should avoid coming into contact with anyone who is ill.
Is Prednisone for everyone?
No. There’s a long list of people who either should not take this drug or only take it at a reduced dosage for a very short period of time. It slows growth in children so never give Prednisone to a child unless approved by a doctor. Do not take this drug if you are already ill, particularly if you have a fungal infection, or you have recently been ill — starting Prednisone can bring an illness back again. The following is a shortened list of conditions where there are safety concerns:
- thyroid disease;
- any symptoms of cardiovascular disease;
- any muscular problems;
- eyesight problems;
- kidney or liver disease; and
- depression or any other serious mental disorder.
This will vary significantly depending on your medical history, and the disease or disorder to be treated. So take the dosage recommended to you. If you fall ill or experience stress, get medical advice. Do not drink alcohol. Finally, do not stop taking Prednisone suddenly. If you have been taking it for more than a week, you will have to taper the dose to give your adrenal gland a chance to start working again.
What are the side effects?
The less serious include acne and other skin problems, headaches and dizziness, stomach pain, insomnia, mood changes and an increase in body weight. The more serious justifying getting urgent help include any serious change of your mood, confusion, muscle weakness, problems with your vision and either coughing up blood or blood in your stools.