PrednisonePrednisone is an oral, synthetic (man-made) corticosteroid used for suppressing the immune system and inflammation. It has effects similar to other corticosteroids such as triamcinolone (Kenacort), methylprednisolone (Medrol), prednisolone (Prelone) and dexamethasone (Decadron). These synthetic corticosteroids mimic the action of cortisol (hydrocortisone), the naturally-occurring corticosteroid produced in the body by the adrenal glands.
Prednisone is inactive in the body and, in order to be effective, first must be converted to prednisolone by enzymes in the liver. Therefore, prednisone may not work as effectively in people with liver disease whose ability to convert prednisone to prednisolone is impaired
BRAND NAME: Deltasone, Orasone, Prednicen-M, Liquid Pred
Store at room temperature 20-25°C (68-77°F), and keep away from moisture.
Prednisone is used in the management of inflammatory conditions or diseases in which the immune system plays an important role. The initial dose of prednisone varies depending on the condition being treated and the age of the patient. The starting dose may be from 5 to 60 mg per day and often is adjusted based on the response of the condition being treated.
Corticosteroids typically do not produce immediate effects and must be used for several days before maximal effects are seen. It may take much longer before conditions respond to treatment.
Prolonged therapy with prednisone causes the adrenal glands to atrophy and stop producing cortisol. When prednisone is discontinued after a period of prolonged therapy, the dose of prednisone must be tapered (lowered gradually) to allow the adrenal glands time to recover. (See side effects.) It is recommended that prednisone be taken with food.
Side effects of prednisone and other corticosteroids range from mild annoyances to serious, irreversible damage, and they occur more frequently with higher doses and more prolonged treatment. Side effects include retention of sodium (salt) and fluid, weight gain, high blood pressure, loss of potassium, headache and muscle weakness. Prednisone also causes puffiness of the face (moon face), growth of facial hair, thinning and easy bruising of the skin, impaired wound healing, glaucoma, cataracts, ulcers in the stomach and duodenum, worsening of diabetes, irregular menses, rounding of the upper back (“buffalo hump”), obesity, retardation of growth in children, convulsions, and psychiatric disturbances. The psychiatric disturbances include depression, euphoria, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes, and even psychotic behavior.
Prednisone suppresses the immune system and, therefore, increases the frequency or severity of infections and decreases the effectiveness of vaccines and antibiotics. Prednisone may cause osteoporosis that results in fractures of bones. Patients taking long-term prednisone often receive supplements of calcium and vitamin D to counteract the effects on bones. Calcium and vitamin D probably are not enough, however, and treatment with bisphosphonates such as alendronate (Fosamax) and risedronate (Actonel) may be necessary. Calcitonin (Miacalcin) also is effective. The development of osteoporosis and the need for treatment can be monitored using bone density scans.
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