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prednisone

Generic Name: prednisone

What is prednisone?

Prednisone is a steroid that reduces inflammation in the body, and also suppresses your immune system.

Prednisone is used to treat many different conditions such as hormonal disorders, skin diseases, arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, allergic conditions, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, eye diseases, lung diseases, asthma, tuberculosis, blood cell disorders, kidney disorders, leukemia, lymphoma, multiple sclerosis, organ transplant rejection, swelling from a brain tumor or injury.

Prednisone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of prednisone?

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • muscle pain or weakness;
  • blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;
  • severe depression, changes in personality, unusual thoughts or behavior;
  • bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
  • swelling, rapid weight gain, feeling short of breath;
  • irregular heartbeats;
  • severe headache, pounding in your neck or ears;
  • decreased adrenal gland hormones--muscle weakness, tiredness, diarrhea, nausea, menstrual changes, skin discoloration, craving salty foods, and feeling light-headed; or
  • low potassium level--leg cramps, constipation, irregular heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, increased thirst or urination, numbness or tingling, muscle weakness or limp feeling.

Prednisone can affect growth in children. Tell your doctor if your child is not growing at a normal rate while using this medicine.

Common side effects may include:

  • weight gain (especially in your face or your upper back and torso);
  • increased appetite;
  • mood changes, trouble sleeping;
  • changes in your menstrual periods;
  • problems with memory or thought;
  • muscle or joint pain;
  • weakness;
  • headache, dizziness, spinning sensation;
  • nausea, bloating, loss of appetite;
  • slow wound healing; or
  • acne, increased sweating, thinning skin, bruising, pinpoint spots under your skin.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about prednisone?

You should not use prednisone if you have a fungal infection anywhere in your body.

You should not stop using prednisone suddenly. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking prednisone?

You should not use prednisone if you are allergic to it, or if you have a fungal infection anywhere in your body.

Steroid medication can weaken your immune system, making it easier for you to get an infection or worsening an infection you already have. Tell your doctor about any illness or infection you've had within the past several weeks.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Long-term use of steroids may lead to bone loss (osteoporosis), especially if you smoke or drink alcohol, if you do not exercise, or if you do not get enough vitamin D or calcium in your diet.

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

You should not breastfeed while using prednisone.

How should I take prednisone?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Prednisone is taken daily or every other day, depending on the condition being treated. You may need to take the medicine at a certain time of day. Follow your doctor's instructions about when and how often to take this medicine.

Take with food if prednisone upsets your stomach.

Measure liquid medicine carefully. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).

Swallow the delayed-release tablet whole and do not crush, chew, or break it.

Prednisone can weaken (suppress) your immune system, and you may get an infection more easily. Call your doctor if you have signs of infection (fever, weakness, cold or flu symptoms, skin sores, diarrhea, frequent or recurring illness).

If you have major surgery or a severe injury or infection, your prednisone dose needs may change. Make sure any doctor caring for you knows you are using this medicine.

If you use this medicine long-term, you may need medical tests and vision exams.

In case of emergency, wear or carry medical identification to let others know you use a steroid.

You should not stop using prednisone suddenly. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

SLIDESHOW

Could I Be Allergic? Discover Your Allergy Triggers See Slideshow

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

High doses or long-term use of prednisone can lead to thinning skin, easy bruising, changes in body fat (especially in your face, neck, back, and waist), increased acne or facial hair, menstrual problems, impotence, or loss of interest in sex.

What should I avoid while taking prednisone?

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using prednisone. The vaccine may not work as well and may not fully protect you from disease. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), polio, rotavirus, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), zoster (shingles), and nasal flu (influenza) vaccine.

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Call your doctor for preventive treatment if you are exposed to chickenpox or measles. These conditions can be serious or even fatal in people who are using steroid medicine.

Avoid drinking alcohol.

What other drugs will affect prednisone?

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines. Many drugs can affect prednisone, especially:

This list is not complete and many other drugs may affect prednisone. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about prednisone.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

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Reviewed on 7/24/2019

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