Generic Name: Prednisone

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Prednisone is a medicine used to reduce swelling and improve symptoms associated with certain allergic, skin, stomach, intestinal, blood, eye, kidney, lung, or joint disorders; rheumatoid arthritis; certain cancers; and certain infections. Prednisone may also be used to treat other conditions, as determined by your healthcare provider. Prednisone is available as tablets, an oral solution, and another solution called Intensol.

  • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

    How does this medication work?

    Prednisone works by reducing swelling, thereby reducing symptoms associated with various conditions.

    What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

    What: Prednisone may reduce your swelling and symptoms associated with certain conditions.

    When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you take prednisone exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

    How do I know it is working?

    You may feel an improvement in your symptoms once you begin taking prednisone. This is a good indicator that your medication is working. Your healthcare provider may ask you questions to assess how well your symptoms are controlled.

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

    The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

    More common side effects may include: increased blood pressure, behavior or mood changes, increased appetite, weight gain.

    Less common side effects may include:

    Serious allergic reactions, with symptoms such as swelling of your face, lips, or tongue.

    Adrenal insufficiency (a disorder where the body does not make enough of certain hormones), with symptoms such as tiredness that worsens and does not go away, nausea or vomiting, dizziness or fainting, muscle weakness, irritability and depression, loss of appetite, or weight loss.

    Eye problems, such as glaucoma (high pressure in the eye), cataracts, or an infection.

    Slowed or delayed growth in children.

    Prednisone may also cause salt and water retention, decreased blood potassium levels in your body, or may increase your risk of developing an infection.

  • Who should not take this medication?

    Do not take prednisone if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

    Do not take prednisone if you have certain infections.

  • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

    Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with prednisone. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have heart, kidney, or thyroid problems; high blood pressure; any type of infection (including tuberculosis [a bacterial infection that affects the lungs]); recently been near anyone who has chickenpox or measles; recently traveled to a tropical area; unexplained diarrhea; stomach or intestinal problems (such as an ulcer); psychiatric conditions (such as mood swings or personality changes); osteoporosis (thin, weak bones); or myasthenia gravis (a disease characterized by long-lasting fatigue and muscle weakness).

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

    Adults and children: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for you or your child based on the condition, and may adjust the dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

    It is important that you do not stop taking this medication abruptly. If you need to change or stop taking this medication, it is important that you only do this with the guidance of your healthcare provider.

  • How should I take this medication?

    Take prednisone exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking prednisone without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    Take prednisone before, during, or right after meals, or with food or milk to reduce stomach irritation.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Do not come in contact with anyone who has chickenpox or measles while you are receiving prednisone.

    Do not receive certain vaccines during treatment with prednisone without first talking to your healthcare provider.

  • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

    If prednisone is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Prednisone may interact with numerous medications. Therefore, it is very important that you tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking.

  • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of prednisone during pregnancy are unknown. Prednisone can be found in your breast milk if you take it while breastfeeding. Do not breastfeed while you are taking prednisone. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

    If you miss a dose of prednisone, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store this medication?

    Store at room temperature. Protect tablets from moisture.

Meet the Pharmacists

I'm Shereen A. Gharbia, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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