Prednisone

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Generic Name: Prednisone Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Uses

What is prednisone used for?

Prednisone is commonly used to treat conditions such as arthritis, blood disorders, breathing problems, severe allergies, skin diseases, cancer, eye problems, and immune system disorders. Prednisone belongs to a class of drugs known as corticosteroids. It decreases your immune system’s response to various diseases to reduce symptoms such as swelling and allergic-type reactions.

How should I take prednisone?

Take this medication by mouth, with food or milk to prevent stomach upset, as directed by your doctor. Take the tablet form of this medication with a full glass of water (8 ounces/240 milliliters) unless your doctor directs you otherwise. If you are using the liquid form of this medication, carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. If you are prescribed only one dose per day, take it in the morning before 9 A.M.

Take this medication exactly as directed by your doctor. Follow the dosing schedule carefully. The dosage and length of treatment are based on your medical condition and response to treatment. If you are taking this medication on a different schedule than a daily one (such as every other day), it may help to mark your calendar with a reminder.

Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when this drug is suddenly stopped. Also, you may experience symptoms such as weakness, weight loss, nausea, muscle pain, headache, tiredness, dizziness. To prevent these symptoms while you are stopping treatment with this drug, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details. Report any new or worsening symptoms immediately.

Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.

How do I store prednisone?

Prednisone is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store prednisone in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of prednisone that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush prednisone down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using prednisone?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of prednisone or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There isn’t enough information about the safety of using prednisone during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking prednisone.

Side effects

What side effects can occur from prednisone?

Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, heartburn, trouble sleeping, increased sweating, or acne may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: muscle pain/cramps, irregular heartbeat, weakness, swelling hands/ankles/feet, unusual weight gain, signs of infection (such as fever, persistent sore throat), vision problems (such as blurred vision), vomit that looks like coffee grounds, black/bloody stools, severe stomach/abdominal pain, mental/mood changes (such as depression, mood swings, agitation), slow wound healing, thinning skin, bone pain, menstrual period changes, puffy face, seizures, easy bruising/bleeding.

This medication may infrequently make your blood sugar level rise, which can cause or worsen diabetes. Tell your doctor right away if you develop symptoms of high blood sugar, such as increased thirst and urination. If you already have diabetes, be sure to check your blood sugars regularly. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.

A very serious allergic reaction to this product is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with prednisone?

Prednisone may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Products that may interact with this drug are:

  • Amphotericin B
  • Cyclosporine
  • Digoxin, digitalis
  • John’s wort
  • An antibiotic such as clarithromycin or telithromycin
  • Antifungal medication such as itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, voriconazole
  • Birth control pills and other hormones
  • A blood thinner such as warfarin, Coumadin
  • A diuretic or “water pill”
  • The hepatitis C medications boceprevir or telaprevir
  • HIV or AIDS medicine such as atazanavir, delavirdine, efavirenz, fosamprenavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, nevirapine, ritonavir, saquinavir
  • Insulin or diabetes medications you take by mouth
  • A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), celecoxib, diclofenac, indomethacin, meloxicam, and others
  • Seizure medications such as carbamazepine, fosphenytoin, oxcarbazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone
  • The tuberculosis medications isoniazid, rifabutin, rifapentine, or rifampin

Does food or alcohol interact with prednisone?

Prednisone may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with prednisone?

Prednisone may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Health conditions that may interact with this drug are:

  • Cataracts
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Cushing’s syndrome (adrenal gland problem)
  • Diabetes
  • Eye infection
  • Glaucoma
  • Heart attack, recent
  • Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar)
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Infection (e.g., bacterial, virus, fungus, or parasite)
  • Mood changes, including depression
  • Myasthenia gravis (severe muscle weakness)
  • Osteoporosis (weak bones)
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Personality changes
  • Stomach or intestinal problems (e.g., diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis)
  • Thyroid problems
  • Tuberculosis
  • Herpes simplex eye infection
  • Kidney disease

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using prednisone.

What is the dose of prednisone for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Nephrotic Syndrome:

Initial (first three episodes): 2 mg/kg/day (maximum 80 mg/day) in divided doses 3 to 4 times/day until urine is protein free for 3 consecutive days (maximum: 28 days); followed by 1 to 1.5 mg/kg/dose given every other day for 4 weeks.

Maintenance dose for frequent relapses: 0.5 to 1 mg/kg/ dose given every other day for 3 to 6 months.

Usual Adult Dose of Prednisone for Anti-inflammatory:

5 to 60 mg per day in divided doses 1 to 4 times/day.

What is the dose of prednisone for a child?

Usual Pediatric Dose for Nephrotic Syndrome

Initial (first three episodes): 2 mg/kg/day (maximum 80 mg/day) in divided doses 3 to 4 times/day until urine is protein free for 3 consecutive days (maximum: 28 days); followed by 1 to 1.5 mg/kg/dose given every other day for 4 weeks.

Maintenance dose for frequent relapses: 0.5 to 1 mg/kg/ dose given every other day for 3 to 6 months.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Asthma

< I year:

  • Acute: 10 mg orally every 12 hours.
  • Maintenance: 10 mg orally very other day.

1 to 4 years:

  • Acute: 20 mg orally every 12 hours.
  • Maintenance: 20 mg orally every other day.

5 to 12 years:

  • Acute: 30 mg orally every 12 hours.
  • Maintenance: 30 mg orally every other day.

>12 years:

  • Acute: 40 mg orally every 12 hours.
  • Maintenance: 40 mg orally every other day.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Anti-inflammatory

0.05 to 2 mg/kg/day divided 1 to 4 times/day

Usual Pediatric Dose for Immunosuppression

0.05 to 2 mg/kg/day divided 1 to 4 times/day

How is prednisone available?

Prednisone is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Tablets: 1 mg; 2 mg; 5 mg

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of prednisone, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: July 20, 2017 | Last Modified: July 31, 2017

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