What is prednisone?

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

Know the basics

What is prednisone used for?

Prednisone is 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?

Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Do not freeze. Different brands of this medication may have different storage needs. Check the product package for instructions on how to store your brand, or ask your pharmacist. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Know the precautions & warnings

What should I know before using prednisone?

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of prednisone in children. However, pediatric patients are more likely to have slower growth and bone problems if prednisone is used for a long time. Recommended doses should not be exceeded, and the patient should be carefully monitored during therapy.

Geriatric

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of prednisone in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related liver, kidney, or heart problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for elderly patients receiving prednisone.

Is it safe to take prednisone during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using methotrexate during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking methotrexate. Methotrexate is pregnancy risk category  X according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown
  • Breastfeeding

    Studies in women suggest that this medication poses minimal risk to the infant when used during breastfeeding.

Know the side effects

What are the side effects of 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.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

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

Know the 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.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

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Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Aldesleukin
  • Aripiprazole
  • Asparaginase
  • Bupropion
  • Carbamazepine
  • Ceritinib
  • Clozapine
  • Cobicistat
  • Dabrafenib
  • Daclatasvir
  • Eliglustat
  • Elvitegravir
  • Eslicarbazepine Acetate
  • Gatifloxacin
  • Idelalisib
  • Itraconazole
  • Lopinavir
  • Mitotane
  • Nifedipine
  • Nilotinib
  • Piperaquine
  • Pixantrone
  • Ritonavir
  • Siltuximab
  • Telaprevir

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Alatrofloxacin
  • Alcuronium
  • Alfalfa
  • Amobarbital
  • Aprobarbital
  • Aspirin
  • Atracurium
  • Balofloxacin
  • Butabarbital
  • Butalbital
  • Cinoxacin
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Clarithromycin
  • Clinafloxacin
  • Enoxacin
  • Fleroxacin
  • Fluconazole
  • Flumequine
  • Fosphenytoin
  • Gallamine
  • Gemifloxacin
  • Grepafloxacin
  • Hexafluorenium
  • Ketoconazole
  • Levofloxacin
  • Licorice
  • Lomefloxacin
  • Mephobarbital
  • Metocurine
  • Montelukast
  • Moxifloxacin
  • Norfloxacin
  • Ofloxacin
  • Ospemifene
  • Pancuronium
  • Pefloxacin
  • Phenobarbital
  • Phenytoin
  • Primidone
  • Prulifloxacin
  • Rifampin
  • Rifapentine
  • Rosoxacin
  • Rufloxacin
  • Saiboku-To
  • Secobarbital
  • Sparfloxacin
  • Temafloxacin
  • Tosufloxacin
  • Trovafloxacin Mesylate
  • Vecuronium
  • Warfarin

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.

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

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.

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Cataracts or
  • Congestive heart failure or
  • Cushing’s syndrome (adrenal gland problem) or
  • Diabetes or
  • Eye infection or
  • Glaucoma or
  • Heart attack, recent or
  • Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) or
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure) or
  • Infection (e.g., bacterial, virus, fungus, or parasite) or
  • Mood changes, including depression or
  • Myasthenia gravis (severe muscle weakness) or
  • Osteoporosis (weak bones) or
  • Peptic ulcer, active or history of or
  • Personality changes or
  • Stomach or intestinal problems (e.g., diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis) or
  • Thyroid problems or
  • Tuberculosis, inactive—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
  • Fungal infections or
  • Herpes simplex eye infection—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
  • Kidney disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.

Understand the dosage

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

What is the dose of Prednisone for an adult?

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Cataracts or
  • Congestive heart failure or
  • Cushing’s syndrome (adrenal gland problem) or
  • Diabetes or
  • Eye infection or
  • Glaucoma or
  • Heart attack, recent or
  • Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) or
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure) or
  • Infection (e.g., bacterial, virus, fungus, or parasite) or
  • Mood changes, including depression or
  • Myasthenia gravis (severe muscle weakness) or
  • Osteoporosis (weak bones) or
  • Peptic ulcer, active or history of or
  • Personality changes or
  • Stomach or intestinal problems (e.g., diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis) or
  • Thyroid problems or
  • Tuberculosis, inactive—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
  • Fungal infections or
  • Herpes simplex eye infection—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
  • Kidney disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.

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.

Prednisone. https://www.drugs.com/ppa/prednisone.html. Accessed July 26, 2016.

Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

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