Prednisone side effects

Prednisone is a corticosteroid hormone used to treat those with low levels of this hormone in their bodies. Corticosteroid is naturally made by the body and needed for various bodily functions and processes to perform properly and efficiently by preventing the release of substances in that cause inflammation. It primarily targets the immune system, allowing it to respond more naturally to certain conditions and diseases. In this regard, it acts as an immunosuppressant. It is also used to treat certain inflammatory diseases. Either way, Prednisone can have some serious side effects.

Conditions And Diseases That Are Treated With Prednisone

  • Arthritis
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Asthma
  • Multiple sclerosis (a disease in which the nerves don’t function properly)
  • Lupus (a disease in which the body attacks itself)
  • Other inflammatory diseases (urushiol-induced contact dermatitis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura)
  • Certain types of cancer (it is used as an antitumor treatment)
  • AIDS patients with pneumonia
  • Various kidney diseases (including nephritic syndrome, mononucleosis Epstein-Barr Virus)
  • To prevent and treat rejection in organ transplantation
  • Migraine headaches
  • Autoimmune pancreatitis

Important Things to Remember While on Prednisone

  • Before taking Prednisone, talk with your doctor and inform him or her about all of the prescription and non-prescription medications you are taking, including any vitamin, mineral, nutritional, and herbal supplements.
  • Also talk with your doctor about any medical conditions that you have.
  • Do not take this medication if you’re trying to get pregnant or currently are pregnant.
  • You should carry a card saying you are taking, or have recently been taking, Prednisone in case of any medical emergency.
  • Do not receive any “live” vaccines while on this medication.
  • Do not stop using this medication suddenly because you may have serious withdrawals.
  • Take with a full glass of water and food to prevent an upset stomach.

Side Effects of Prednisone
To get a complete list of side effects, talk with your doctor. He may adjust your dose accordingly. Prednisone can deliver some very unpleasant side effects. Contact your doctor immediately if any of the following symptoms occur.

  • Prednisone can weaken your immune system, which can make it easier for your body to acquire new infections or make it harder for your body to fight off infections that you already have.
  • Problems with your vision
  • Swelling
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Severe depression
  • Unusual thoughts or behavior
  • Seizures
  • Bloody stools
  • Coughing up blood
  • Severe stomach pain, resulting in nausea or vomiting (this can be a sign of pancreatitis)
  • Uneven heart rate, extreme thirst, increase urination, leg or muscle discomfort (this is a sign of low potassium)
  • Severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, chest pain (these symptoms, together, are a sign of low blood pressure)

The following symptoms are less severe, but your healthcare provider should know about them as they occur.

  • Sleep problems
  • Mood changes
  • Acne
  • Dry skin
  • Thinning skin or bruising or discoloration
  • Slow wound healing
  • Increased sweating
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

Drug Interactions

  • Some drugs can have negative effects if they are taken at the same time as steroid drugs such as Prednisone. These side effects may sometimes be more likely to occur in these instances as well. They include:
  • Aspirin, if taken on a daily basis
  • A diuretic
  • A blood thinner
  • Cyclosporine
  • Insulin or Diabetes’ medication taken orally
  • Rifampin
  • Seizure medications

Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about a complete list of these medications.

Last updated on Oct 19th, 2010 and filed under Drugs and Medications. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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