Prednisone is a natural steroid that is very similar to cortisone. The adrenal glands in the human body produce prednisone, but some times the body does not produced enough due to adrenal gland exhaustion. When adrenal glands burn out and problems arise, a synthetic hormone can be used. Natural steroids are vital for normal body function and are normally manufactured by the adrenal glands. Prednisone is responsible for maintaining blood pressure, responses to stress, fat metabolism, sugar usage and many other bodily functions.
When synthetic prednisone is prescribed for a disease, the adrenal glands can be suppressed and this natural steroid will not be as abundantly produced in the body. In the United States, Prednisone is sold under the brand names of Aspred-C, Deltasone, Liquid Pred, Meticorten, Orasone, Panasol-S, Paracort, Prednicen-M, Predisone Intensol, SK-Prednisone, Sterapred, and Sterapred-DS. In Canada, it is sold under the brand names of
names Winpred, Apo-Prednisone, Metreton, and Novoprednisone. A generic form of Prednisone is also available.
Prednisone has side affects and doctors will not prescribe it except for certain conditions. Some conditions do warrant the use of prednisone prescriptions. These conditions or diseases include such ones an autoimmune disease, ulcerative colitis, Type I diabetes, celiac disease, Chrohn’s disease, lupus, AIDS and multiple sclerosis. Some cancers are treated by prednisone. Pneumonia can also be treated with prednisone along with antibiotics. Prednisone is also used as an anti-inflammatory. It will help the body to reduce the inflammatory response to organ transplants.
Medical doctors prescribe prednisone in tablet form, syrup and as an oral solution and the patient should take it with food or milk. It should never be taken on an empty stomach because it will cause stomach upset.
Prednisone depletes the calcium from the bones and can cause arthritis, osteoporosis and osteonecrosis. Osteonecrosis is bad because it is when the bone literally dies. However, only people who have been taking prednisone for a long time develop this condition caused because of long term prednisone therapy.
Osteoporosis can also occur because of long term usage of prednisone therapy. Usually, the patient will be prescribed calcium if they are taking prednisone to help lower the risk of bone density loss.
Patients who develop arthritis because of long term use of prednisone will experience swelling of the joints, pain in the hands, hips, knees and wrists.
Even though prednisone can cause all of the above painful conditions, its use is sometimes warranted by medical doctors because it can bring tremendous relief for other diseases. However, people can build up a tolerance for prednisone after taking it for awhile and become dependent on it. Patients should not suddenly stop taking prednisone after taking it for a long time. It is vital to slowly wean off of the steroid because a sudden stoppage can lead to death in some instances. You should always be under a doctor’s care when taking prednisone and when stopping the drug.
There is also a very real danger of adrenal gland suppression, but taking prednisone on alternate days can help. Prednisone also exposes the patient to an increased risk of bacterial infections like, pneumonia, TB and others. Long term side effects can also result in increased appetite, weight gain, depression and water retention. People who take this steroid for a long time can also develop increased blood sugar levels and a rounding of the face.
There are some natural alternatives to taking prednisone. Going on an anti inflammatory diet can be beneficial. Ask your medical doctor about natural alternatives if you do not feel comfortable with taking prednisone for your condition. There are several informative websites online that have lots of information on Prednisone. WebMD is one that is very helpful. There are also several web forums where people can get and give about Prednisone Therapy.