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Prednisone

Prednisone is an immunosuppressant drug used to prevent the body from rejecting a transplanted organ. It is also used to treat certain forms of arthritis, severe allergies, asthmas, as well as skin, blood, kidney, eye, thyroid and intestinal disorders.

Pronunciation

pred ni sone

Precautions

  • If you have a fungal infection (other than on your skin), do not take prednisone without talking to your doctor.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver, kidney, intestinal, or heart disease; diabetes; an underactive thyroid gland; high blood pressure; mental illness; myasthenia gravis; osteoporosis; herpes eye infection; seizures; tuberculosis (TB); or ulcers.
  • If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking prednisone.
  • If you have a history of ulcers or take large doses of aspirin or other arthritis medication, limit your consumption of alcoholic beverages while taking this drug. Prednisone makes your stomach and intestines more susceptible to the irritating effects of alcohol, aspirin and certain arthritis medications. This effect increases your risk of ulcers.

How Prednisone Works

Prednisone, a corticosteroid, is similar to a natural hormone produced by your adrenal glands. It often is used to replace this chemical when your body does not make enough of it. Prednisone inhibits interluekin-1 secretions, resulting in decreased replication of cytotoxic T cells. It also has a nonspecific anti-inflammatory effect and inhibit granulocyte function, thus limiting damage to an organ in which the rejection process has already begun.

Taking Prednisone

  • Take Prednisone exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist to explain them to you.
  • Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children.
  • Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture.
  • Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed, and talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
  • Dosage

    If you miss a dose. When you start to take prednisone, ask your doctor what you should do if you forget a dose. Write down these directions so that you can refer to them later. If you miss more than one dose, it is important that you call your doctor.

    Over Dosage. In case of overdose, call your local poison control center. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

    Common Side Effects

    Although side effects from prednisone are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • acne
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • dizziness
  • easy bruising
  • headache
  • increased hair growth
  • insomnia
  • irregular or absent menstrual periods
  • restlessness
  • upset stomach and/or vomiting
  • Puffy ("moon-faced") appearance

Dangerous Side Effects

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • black or tarry stool
  • cold or infection that lasts a long time
  • muscle weakness
  • skin rash
  • swollen face, lower legs, or ankles
  • vision problems

Prednisone and Pregnancy

It is not known whether Prednisone will harm an unborn baby. Therefore, use of prednisone is not recommended during pregnancy.

Because Prednisone passes into breast milk, it is recommended not to take Prednisone without first talking to your doctor.

Drug Interactions

Before taking Prednisone, tell your doctor if you are taking, have taken, or need to take any of the following medicines:

An anticoagulant (blood thinner) such as warfarin (e.g. Coumadin); arthritis medications; aspirin; cyclosporine (e.g. Neoral, Sandimmune); digoxin (e.g. Lanoxin); diuretics (e.g. 'water pills'); estrogen (e.g. Premarin); ketoconazole (e.g. Nizoral); oral contraceptives; phenobarbital; phenytoin (e.g. Dilantin); rifampin (e.g. Rifadin); theophylline (e.g. Theo-Dur); vitamins

Brand Names

Deltasone, manufactured by Upjohn

Meticorten, manufactured by Schering

Orasone, manufactured by Solvay




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