Prednisone Uses & Benefits

How is Prednisone supplied?

For use at home, Prednisone is supplied as tablets and as an oral solution. This makes it convenient to take, either swallowing the tablet or diluting the concentrated solution and drinking it down. In a hospital environment, it is supplied either for delivery as an injection or through a IV drip.

What does the drug do?

If your adrenal gland is not producing enough cortisone and hydrocortisone, Prednisone makes up the deficiency. Once the use of Prednisone boosts the level of cortisone above the usually expected level, this has a powerful effect, rapidly reducing inflammation all around the body. But it also changes the way the body reacts to different stimuli. You must ensure you get more benefit than loss from the use of this drug.

When is Prednisone beneficial?

Used over a short period of time and at a low dosage, it is an excellent treatment for rheumatic disorders. So if you have any of the more common forms of arthritis, Prednisone will relieve the inflammation and reduce the pain caused by your condition. It also relieves the acute symptoms of an allergic response, whether it triggers breathing difficulties or eczema. Indeed, more generally, it helps treat several other diseases affecting the lungs. Finally, it treats a range of diseases and cancers of the blood including anemia, leukemia, and so on.

Prednisone for use in transplant surgery

If the body’s autoimmune system is working, it will treat any “foreign” tissue as if it was a disease. This is inconvenient if the “foreign” tissue is a transplanted organ. Used in conjunction with other drugs, Prednisone helps your body adjust to, and accept, a transplanted organ.

Prednisone as a treatment for tumors

Under normal circumstances, surgery will usually remove a tumor and the follow-up will be radio- or chemotherapy. Used over the short term, Prednisone can stabilize a tumor. At high dosage, it can shrink a tumor. But over time at high dosage, the side effects are inevitable and you should only agree to this course of treatment if surgery is not possible and the threat to your life is real.

How do you strike a balance between costs and benefits?

It is always better to use alternative treatments first. For example, conventional inhalers may well control an asthma attack without having to resort to Prednisone. The side effects of this drug in making you vulnerable to infections and diseases, adding weight or redistributing fat about your body, and potentially changing your moods are real and cannot be ignored. Before you begin taking Prednisone, you must be sure you will derive more benefit than you pay in physical and emotional side effects. In transplant surgery and the treatment of major blood disorders and tumors, Prednisone can save your life. Used within the recommended guidelines, the benefits clearly outweigh the costs. But in most other conditions, you should only use Prednisone at the lowest possible dosages and for the shortest possible length of time to get the benefits you seek. Then revert to the other treatments.