Prescription Medication
Prednisone Introduction
February 2, 2022

Prednisone belongs to the group of steroid drugs in general under the drug class of corticosteroids. The other drugs within the same class are methylprednisolone, hydrocortisone and prednisolone. This prescription drug is generally part of a treatment plan and can be taken as a pill or an injection. 

Prednisone is used extensively in situations where the patients have a weakened immune system. In other words, they are prone to various kinds of bacterial and viral infections. Therefore, this medicine acts as a supplement to other antibiotics to control the spread of any kind of infection.

Function

The immune system of our body relies on threshold levels of all chemicals. Slights fluctuations in these levels can have long term effects if not treated promptly. Our body’s immune response to any kind of inflammation and injury through swelling and produces steroids. These steroids retain the sensitivity of our immune system so lower levels of steroids may lead to extensive periods of swelling and inflammation. Prednisone is used to raise the steroid levels in order to reduce an immune system response. For this reason this medicine is quite applicable in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis where an individual’s immune system attacks their own tissues after detecting an infection or inflammation.

Prednisone_Drugs

Application of Prednisone

There are various situations within which Prednisone is prescribed to control the immune system’s reaction to injuries, inflammation and foreign agents. In general, it is prescribed to patients with rashes, asthma, arthritis and a kidney infection known as Lupus. As there are multiple causes of lupus, the best way to control its impact is lowering the immune system’s sensitivity to inflammations and swelling. That is how the body continues to perform its regular functions.

Furthermore, Prednisone is also prescribed in case of a kidney transplant. In general, there are maximum chances of our defense system getting activated with the transplantation of a new kidney considering it as a foreign agent. This can be fatal as the kidney will not be able to function and resultantly the body will continue to store waste causing fatal diseases. Conversely, the application of Prednisone lowers the defending response of one’s immune system thereby letting the new kidney perform its regular functions without the threat of being attacked by white blood cells and other defending agents.

In addition, Prednisone is also used to control a condition known as proteinuria in which protein leaks into an individual’s urine thereby reducing the amount of blood requisite in the vessels. This shortage of protein is caused by some of the renal disorders such as IGA Nephropathy, Minimal Change Disease and Focal Glomerulosclerosis leading towards a Nephrotic Syndrome affecting the balance of proteins in the human body. Prednisone in this situation is used to control proteinuria and therefore helps in maintaining protein balance within the human body. In addition to the aforementioned situations, Prednisone is also used alongside antibiotics particularly for patients of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome to prevent patients from different infectious diseases as the immune system is already too weak to defend against foreign agents getting inside the body.

Usage of Prednisone

The medicine comes in various forms ranging from a liquid solution to a tablet. It can be taken once every other day or taken two or three times daily alongside each meal. The best dosage will be prescribed by your doctor. In general, a doctor tries to treat a patient with a minimum possible dosage of a medicine.

The same principle is applied in the usage of Prednisone. In general, Prednisolone dosage varies between 5mg to 60mg. Due to this varying potency, the doctors monitor the conditions of their patients alongside their age, height and weight before prescribing the appropriate dosage so that it may not have any harmful effects on the body.

Doctors usually advise their patients to take a single dose alongside their breakfast in the morning. The significance of taking it in the morning is to avoid impacts on your sleep cycle. Also it is important to take the medication with food.

If the dosage is gradually lowered as an abrupt break from its consumption would have severe effects such as irregular heart rate, high blood pressure and unusual stress patterns. Keep in mind that the doctor will lower your dosage while continuing to monitor your conditions. Therefore, you need to continue to visit your doctor to provide feedback on a regular basis.

If you feel strange patterns of heartbeat, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure, share all information with your doctor so that your dosage is shifted to suit your body conditions. A doctor determines the quantity of your dose keeping in view the nature and intensity of your kidney disorder. Thus, no need to rely on self-medication.

Make sure not to miss any dosage or stop taking the medicine otherwise you may feel extreme lethargy and dizziness as the body relies on steroids to maintain proper functioning of all systems. One important point to keep in mind is that there is no hard and fast rule that the dosage will be lowered with the passage of time. This will only rely on the condition of the patient.

Side Effects

Like any other medicine, the application of Prednisone may be accompanied by some mild to severe side effects appearing on and inside your body with the passage of time. Although it is not guaranteed side effects will or will not appear. Symptoms from mild to severe can appear and seeking medical attention is advised to avoid any severe damage to your body.

Keep in mind that the prime function of this medicine is to lower the sensitivity of your immune system. Therefore, you are more prone to different infectious diseases. However, you have to compare the extent of benefit that you get from the consumption of Prednisone compared to the side effects that may start to appear with regular dosage. If the side effects are higher and tend to increase with time, then you certainly have to see your doctor to describe the adverse side effects such as whitening of your skin or burning sensations. Some other side effects may include sudden changes in mood, headache, affected sleep cycle, dizziness, acne, bulging eyes, red or purple lines under the skin, very slow healing of wounds, fragile skin, weakness in muscles, rapid hair growth, indeterminate menstrual cycles, increased sweating, decreased sexual drive.

In addition to these symptoms, there are some serious indications of stopping the use of Prednisone immediately such as redness in eyes and vision problems, seizures, depression, sore throat or fever, tightening of muscles and involuntary trembling of hands, burning sensation on hands, face, legs and feet, vomiting, irregular heartbeat, stomach ache, shortness of breath, swelling of different body parts such as eyes, hands, legs.

In addition to the aforementioned side effects, the application of this medicine on a child has a very harmful effect by slowing down natural growth. In some cases, excessive use of this medicine may also lead to cancer. Thus, you need to consult your doctor before even thinking about taking this medicine. In case you are regular at going to your local gym or prefer doing exercise outdoors, you have to consult your doctor regarding your physical routine as you have to be extra cautious to avoid getting infected as the immune system is already weak to defend against external agents.

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Special Precautions

An individual has to be more cautious if they have a history of high blood pressure or diabetes as the use of Prednisone would worsen these conditions by lowering the activity of our immune system. Likewise, individuals with allergies, or in case you are pregnant, should certainly consult a doctor before its usage.

Prednisone is known to possess inactive ingredients which may cause severe allergic reactions if taken in abundance or more than the prescribed amount.  The best thing to do is to share your medical history with your doctor. You should share all kinds of allergic responses to different chemicals that you experience, be it from edible material or pollen particles. Because there is a probability of an increased allergic response to foreign agents after the usage of this medicine.

Prednisone can be stored at room temperature. Special care needs to be taken about its storage facility as it should be free from excessive heat and moisture. Otherwise, the extreme fluctuations of temperature would affect the chemical composition of this medicine making it detrimental for an individual’s health and it will not be able to produce the expected results from the dosage.

The most important thing to consider is Prednisone’s interaction with other medical drugs being consumed by a patient. There is a high probability that these steroids will not be able to produce the anticipated results in the presence of other drugs. Share all the medicines that you are taking nowadays and have been taking in the past as the doctor will evaluate whether the amount of Prednisone is sufficient or if an increase is necessary for the effectiviness of the drug. In general, blood thinners such as warfarin, aspirin used to prevent stroke or heart attack, aldesleukin, azathioprine, and mifepristone are the most common interactive drugs which may lead to serious repercussions if used consistently alongside Prednisone.

If you find any kind of side effects developing after the first or second dose of this medicine, just visit your nearest doctor and share all the symptoms that you have experienced. In case you have accidentally taken an overdose, then visit your doctor immediately as this may have some severe effects on your immune system consequently affecting the whole body and its defense mechanism.

Likewise, you have to be meticulous in its usage if you have started to suffer from insomnia because it is essential for your health to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep. If the medicine has affected your sleep, you need to look for alternatives immediately.

In case of a long term treatment of Prednisolone among children, their normal growth will likely be affected as steroids also have an influence on the thyroid glands directly involved in the production of growth hormones.

Cases in which Prednisolone should be avoided

The ultimate decision will be made by your doctor after they examine your conditions. Generally if you were in contact with someone suffering from shingles, chickenpox, measles and seem to have some symptoms of their infection, then you probably should stay away from steroids as these may trigger an infection. If you intend to get pregnant or already breastfeeding, consult your doctor before thinking about taking steroids. If you are suffering from an allergy, this is not the right time for you to consider taking Prednisolone as your allergic reactions may get severe with a single dose.

Likewise, if you have recently received a vaccination or are in the process of getting vaccinated, it would be wise to avoid taking Prednisolone as it may be detrimental for your health. If you ever had a heart attack, have high blood pressure, have a stomach ulcer, or liver problems or even epilepsy, Prednisolone, it is important to advise your doctor so they may decide what prescription is best for you. Furthermore, osteoporosis may be triggered with the usage of steroids. In other words, your bones would brittle even faster than their normal decay pattern. Thus, it is not advised for people with weak bones. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the chemical composition of Prednisolone?

Prednisolone belongs to a group of corticosteroids and is used when a human body is unable to produce the required quantity of corticosteroid hormone.

What is the basic purpose of taking Prednisolone?

Prednisolone is generally taken to lower the sensitivity of our immune system so that it may not affect the working of healthy tissues and organs.

How applicable is Prednisolone during and after a kidney transplant?

There is a big probability that the transplanted kidney is not accepted by a body’s immune system. Resultantly, it will be attacked by our body defense mechanism considering the new kidney as a foreign agent similar to a virus or a bacteria. Prednisolone plays a pivotal role in protecting the new kidney from such attacks by lessening the sensitivity of an individual’s immune system

In what circumstances Prednisolone is prescribed by the doctor?

Prednisolone is generally prescribed to patients of asthma, kidney infection, cancer, AIDS, Lupus nephritis.

In what forms Prednisolone is available at pharmacies?

Prednisolone is not only available as a tablet but can also be taken as a liquid solution especially for children.

Is the medicine used for short term or long term treatments?

Prednisolone can be utilized in both cases. However, the dosage may be lowered by the doctor keeping in view the conditions of a patient. 

What are the general side effects of using Prednisolone?

Some of the side effects are headache, affected sleep cycle, bulging eyes, red lines under the skin, weakness in muscles, rapid hair growth, increased sweating, seizures, depression, sore throat, fever, tightening of muscles, trembling of hands, burning sensation, vomiting, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, swelling of different body parts, 

Are there any changes needed in your diet while taking Prednisolone?

You are supposed to take a diet with high concentration of potassium and calcium. On the other side, you have to reduce the consumption of salts within your diet as it may lead to high blood pressure. 

Is exercise completely stopped during the Prednisolone course?

An individual can maintain their healthy lifestyle by doing regular exercise. However, one should be extra cautious to avoid excessive physical exertion which may weaken the immune system.

Which precautionary measures are essential for appropriately storing Prednisolone?

The medicine can be stored at room temperature. However, it has to be kept safe from excessive heat and moisture. 

Can Prednisolone be taken alongside or after dinner?

Many patients who have used this medicine have complained about experiencing insomnia since the day they have started their course. Thus, it is generally suggested to take this medicine alongside breakfast.

Can Prednisolone be used after getting vaccinated?

There are chances of Prednisolone interacting with the already injected foreign agent in the body. The intake would lead to serious repercussions in the form of high fever, inflammation and irregular body pains.

Can Prednisolone be prescribed to an individual who has a medical history of allergic reactions?

Patients with allergies are more sensitive to exposure against foreign agents. Prednisolone can be taken as a threat and resultantly the body may overreact in the form of swelling and redness of skin.Doctor’s advice should always be taken regarding the use of Prednisolone.