What is prednisone
is in a class of drugs called steroids. Prednisone reduces
swelling and decreases the body's ability to fight infections.
is used to treat many different conditions. It is used to
treat endocrine (hormonal) disorders when the body does not
produce enough of its own steroids. It is also used to treat
many disorders such as arthritis, lupus, severe psoriasis,
severe asthma, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn's disease.
may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this
General medical information about prednisone
Do not stop taking prednisone suddenly if you have
been taking it for a few weeks. You may need a gradual reduction
in dosage before you stop taking this medication.
Take prednisone with food or milk to lessen stomach upset.
Carry some type of medical identification that will
let others know you are taking prednisone in the case of
Who should not take prednisone
Do not take prednisone if you have a serious bacterial,
viral, or fungal infection. Prednisone weakens the body's
immune response and thus its ability to fight infection.
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have:
- kidney disease,
- liver disease,
- high blood pressure or heart disease,
ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, or stomach ulcers,
- a psychiatric condition,
- myasthenia gravis,
- any other medical conditions.
You may not be able to take prednisone, or you may require
a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment
if you have any of the conditions listed above.
is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is
not known whether prednisone will harm an unborn baby. Do
not take this medication without first talking to your doctor
if you are pregnant.
Prednisone passes into breast
milk. Do not take prednisone without first talking to your
doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should take prednisone Take prednisone exactly as directed by your doctor.
Do not take more or less than is prescribed for you. If
you do not understand these instructions, ask your pharmacist,
nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.
dose with a full glass of water.
with food or milk to lessen stomach upset.
the liquid with the dropper provided or with a special dose-measuring
spoon or cup. Ask your pharmacist for a dose-measuring spoon
or cup if you do not have one.
If you are taking
one dose daily, take that dose before 9 a.m. if possible,
to follow the body's natural cycle. If you take more than
one dose daily, space the doses evenly throughout the day
as directed by your doctor.
Do not stop taking prednisone
suddenly if you have been taking it for a few weeks. You
may need a gradual reduction in dosage before you stop taking
Carry some type of medical identification
that will let others know you are taking prednisone in the
case of an emergency.
Store prednisone at room temperature
away from moisture and heat.
If you miss a dose: If you take one dose daily, take the missed dose
as soon as you remember. However, if you don't remember
until the next day, skip the dose you missed and take only
your regular daily dose.
If you take more than one
dose daily, you can either take the missed dose as soon
as you remember, or you can take two doses at the next dose
If you take one dose every other day, take
the missed dose as soon as you remember, then go back to
your regular every-other-day schedule.
What happens if you overdose: Seek emergency medical attention. A single large
dose of this medication is unlikely to cause symptoms or
death. An overdose is more likely to be caused by a chronic
overdose--large doses taken over a period of time.
Symptoms of an overdose include obesity (especially around
the stomach); a round face; increased hair growth (especially
around the face); acne; bruising; increased blood pressure;
swollen hands, feet, or ankles (fluid retention); and sore
or weak muscles.
Avoid while taking prednisone Avoid alcohol. Acting together, alcohol and prednisone
can be damaging to the stomach.
Avoid sources of
infection. Wash your hands frequently and keep them away
from the mouth and eyes. Your immune system may be weakened
while taking prednisone.
Do not receive any immunizations
during treatment with prednisone without first talking to
Possible side effects of prednisone If you experience any of the following serious side
effects, stop taking prednisone and seek emergency medical
attention or contact your doctor immediately:
allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your
throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
- increased blood pressure (severe headache or blurred
- sudden weight gain (more than 5 pounds
in a day or two).
Other, less serious side effects
may be more likely to occur. Continue to take prednisone
and talk to your doctor if you experience
- nausea, vomiting, or stomach upset;
- muscle weakness or joint pain;
problems with diabetes control; or
- increased hunger
Other side effects that occur only rarely,
usually with high doses of prednisone, include
- increased hair growth,
of the skin,
- roundness of the face, and
changes in behavior.
Side effects other than those
listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any
side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.
What other drugs will affect prednisone
not take any other over-the-counter or prescription medications,
including herbal products, during treatment with prednisone
without first talking to your doctor. Many other medicines
can interact with prednisone resulting in side effects or
altered effectiveness of the medications.