About Prednisone


What is Prednisone?

To work in the most efficient way, your body produces cortisone, a natural steroid. If accidental injury or disease affects the amount of cortisone in the bloodstream, this can have serious consequences. Prednisone is slightly unusual. It is a prodrug. The majority of the tablets, pills and capsules you take are made from the active ingredients that will deliver the treatment. Prednisone delivers an inactive substance that is converted into the active substance by your own liver.

Where does your body produce cortisone?

The adrenal gland produces the cortisone. The gland judges how much to produce by monitoring the amount of cortisone in the bloodstream. Prednisone delivers more than one day’s production in one tablet so your adrenal gland does not produce any more that day. If the gland detects more than enough cortisone for more than seven days in a run, it shuts down. This makes you dependent on Prednisone. Indeed, after seven days use, trying to stop taking Prednisone suddenly can make you seriously ill. The only way to stop safely is to slowly taper the dose of Prednisone. As your body detects the slow drop in the level of cortisone, your adrenal gland will start working again. But this takes time. Always take the advice of a doctor on how to manage this process safely.

What is Prednisone used to treat?

It is mainly used to treat inflammation but, because it suppresses your immune system, it can also be used to prevent the rejection of organ transplants and for the treatment of tumors. In all cases, it is important that you have the advice of a doctor or pharmacist confirming the diagnosis and ensuring you are taking the appropriate dosage, often in combination with other drugs to get the best results.

Can everyone use Prednisone?

No. This drug must only be used when the benefits outweigh the costs. Because Prednisone slowly disables your autoimmune system, you must not start taking it if you already have an infection, particularly a fungal infection. Your existing condition will grow more serious. Even if you are healthy, you must avoiding coming into contact with anyone who is ill after beginning treatment. This can be really inconvenient if you are a parent and your children bring home measles or chicken pox. Such childhood diseases can threaten your life if your adult immune system is inactive.

What is the dosage?

This must be directly controlled by your doctor or pharmacist. Do not increase the dosage or extend the time without approval. If you catch an infection or become physically or emotionally stressed, tell your doctor immediately. It will be necessary to change the dosage. It is unwise to drink alcohol while taking Prednisone.

What are the side effects?

In the short-term and at low dosage, there are few problems. But as time passes, you are likely to find your body shape changing and you may gain weight. Insomnia can become a problem and your skin thins. This means you will bruise more easily and wounds will not heal as quickly. More seriously, you may have trouble with your eyesight, there may be major mood changes and your blood pressure may rise dangerously high.