Drug of choice for maintenance of severe asthma attacks;
Lupus patients will also benefit from this drug,
but not without some side effects.
Prednisone definition and Adverse reactions
Prednisone is a synthetic hormone commonly referred to as a "cortisteroid." Prednisone is very similar to the hormone cortisone, which the body manufactures.
In part, prednisone acts as an immunosuppressant. The immune system protects against foreign bacteria and viruses. In some illnesses (such as Lupus), the immune system produces antibodies, which become overactive and cause undesirable effects. These illnesses are referred to as "autoimmune diseases".
Prednisone suppresses the production of these antibodies. This suppression can make it slightly harder for you to fight off infection but also stabilizes the immune system if it is overactive with an autoimmune disease (such as Lupus).
Short term use:
- Mood swings, depression, or euphoria.
- Insomnia (can be lessened by taking the prednisone in the a.m.)
- Indigestion (can be lessened by taking prednisone with food)
- Increased appetite and weight gain
- Susceptibility to infections. Prednisone slightly decreases resistance to infection.
- Fluid retention (A salt-restricted/potassium-rich diet may help reduce fluid retention.)
- Hyperglycemia or diabetes (prednisone elevates blood sugar)
- Flushing or hot flashes (usually because of an elevated blood sugar)
- Easy bruising of skin
If prednisone is stopped too quickly, serious adverse effects can occur (nausea, vomiting, pain, fever, and/or flare-up of disease). Heart palpitations and tachycardia (a too fast heart rate) are common if the prednisone is stopped abruptly and can cause chest pains or even heart attack in people with compromised systems.
- Osteoporosis (fragile bones)
- Glaucoma and cataracts
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before taking this medicine.
Talk with your doctor before taking prednisone if you have:
- high blood pressure
- heart disease
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- an eye infection caused by herpes
- or any other infection.
Do not stop taking this medicine without first talking with your doctor. You may need to take smaller and smaller doses before completely stopping this medicine.
Avoid being around people with viral infections such as measles or chickenpox. If you are exposed to these infections, check with your doctor as soon as possible.
Call your doctor right away if you have any of these side effects:
If you have problems with these less serious side effects, tell your doctor:
- skin rash
- blurred vision
- swelling of feet or legs or weight gain
- muscle cramps or weakness
- severe stomach pain
- bloody vomit or blood in stools
- increased thirst or urination
Important Note to Remember:
- increased appetite
- indigestion, nausea, or vomiting
- trouble sleeping
- fullness or roundness of face
- skin infections
- confusion, depression, or mood changes
- seeing or hearing unusual things
Cortisol /cortisone is the hormone produced by the adrenal glands that triggers the influx of adrenaline when you are frightened or angry. When you take Prednisone, your adrenal glands get "lazy" .. waiting for the prednisone to do the job the glands do normally.
When you experience a "fight or flight" type of situation and are no longer taking the prednisone, your body will sometimes "over compensate". This action sends more adrenaline than is needed .. causing your heart rate to increase with possible cardiac trauma. In a trauma, accident situation or surgery, your body may require a boost of cortisteroid. That is why it is so important for all your doctors or emergency personnel to know you are taking prednisone.
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brendarion at cfl.rr.com
© 1998 - 2004 Brenda "Rion" Sewell