What is Prednisone?Prednisone, a steroid drug, is used to reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms in a variety of disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis and severe cases of asthma. It may be given to treat adrenal cortex insufficiency (lack of sufficient adrenal hormone in the body).
What is the most important information I should know about Prednisone?Prednisone may lower your resistance to infections and make them harder to treat. Prednisone may also mask some of the signs of an infection, making it difficult for your doctor to diagnose it.
Do not get a smallpox vaccination or any other immunization while you are taking prednisone.
Also avoid exposure to chickenpox or measles, which can be very serious and even fatal in both children and adults taking prednisone.
Prednisone may reactivate a inactive case of tuberculosis (TB).
Who should not take Prednisone?Do not take prednisone if you have ever had an allergic reaction to it or have a fungal infection.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Prednisone?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with prednisone. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have kidney disease, liver disease, high blood pressure, heart disease, eye herpes, ulcerative colitis (inflammation of the bowel), diverticulitis (inflammation in the large intestines that results in pouches), stomach ulcers, hypothyroidism (low thyroid levels), a psychiatric condition, osteoporosis (thin, weak bones), myasthenia gravis (loss of muscular control), or type 2 diabetes (non-insulin-dependent) (high blood sugar).
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Adults: Dosage is determined by the condition being treated and your response to the drug. Typical starting doses can range from 5 milligrams (mg) to 60 mg a day. Once you respond to the drug, your doctor will lower the dose gradually to the minimum effective amount.
Children: Dosage is determined by the condition being treated and their response to the drug.
How should I take Prednisone?Take prednisone exactly as prescribed, and with food to avoid stomach upset.
If you are on alternate-day therapy or have been prescribed a single daily dose, take prednisone in the morning with breakfast, before 9 a.m. If you have been prescribed several doses per day, take them at evenly spaced intervals around the clock.
For large doses, taking an antacid in between meals may prevent stomach ulcers.
If you have been taking prednisone for a period of time, you may need an increased dosage of the medication before, during, and after any stressful situation. Always consult your doctor if you are anticipating stress and think you may need a temporary dosage increase.
What should I avoid while taking Prednisone?Avoid alcohol. Alcohol and prednisone may damage the stomach.
Avoid sources of infection; your immune system may be weakened while taking prednisone. Wash your hands frequently and keep them away from your mouth and eyes.
Do not receive immunizations during treatment with prednisone without first talking to your doctor.
Avoid abrupt withdrawal of prednisone. Speak to your doctor before stopping it. Signs of withdrawal include muscle pain, joint pain, and feeling ill.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Prednisone?If prednisone is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining prednisone with the following: amphotericin B, anticholinesterase agents (such as neostigmine, pyridostigmine), aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs), barbiturates, blood thinners (such as warfarin), bupropion, carbamazepine, cholestyramine, cyclosporine, digitalis, estrogen drugs, fluoroquinolones (such as ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin), indinavir, insulin, isoniazid, itraconazole, ketoconazole, macrolide antibiotics (such as erythromycin), birth control pills, oral diabetes medication, phenobarbital, phenytoin, potent diuretics, quetiapine, rifampin, ritonavir, thalidomide, troleandomycin, and vaccines.
What are the possible side effects of Prednisone?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects may include: euphoria, insomnia, mood changes, personality changes, psychotic behavior, severe depression, or worsening of any existing emotional instability
At a high dosage, prednisone may cause fluid retention and high blood pressure.
Can I receive Prednisone if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?The effects of prednisone during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Prednisone?Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take two doses at once.
How should I store Prednisone?Store at room temperature.
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