Prednisone







What is prednisone?

Prednisone is in a class of drugs called corticosteroids. Prednisone prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation.

Prednisone is used to treat many different conditions such as allergic disorders, skin conditions, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, or breathing disorders.

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

Important information about prednisone

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

Before taking prednisone, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions, and about all other medicines you are using. There are many other diseases that can be affected by steroid use, and many other medicines that can interact with steroids.

Your dosage needs may change if you have any unusual stress such as a serious illness, fever or infection, or if you have surgery or a medical emergency. Tell your doctor about any such situation that affects you during treatment.

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

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

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using prednisone. The vaccine may not work as well during this time, and may not fully protect you from disease.

Wear a medical alert tag or carry an ID card stating that you take prednisone. Any medical care provider who treats you should know that you are using prednisone.

Before taking prednisone

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

Prednisone can weaken your immune system, making it easier for you to get an infection. Steroids can also worsen an infection you already have, or reactivate an infection you recently had. Before taking prednisone, tell your doctor about any illness or infection you have had within the past several weeks.

To make sure you can safely take prednisone, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • liver disease (such as cirrhosis);

  • kidney disease;

  • a thyroid disorder;

  • diabetes;

  • a history of malaria;

  • tuberculosis;

  • osteoporosis;

  • a muscle disorder such as myasthenia gravis;

  • glaucoma or cataracts;

  • herpes infection of the eyes;

  • stomach ulcers, ulcerative colitis, or diverticulitis;

  • depression or mental illness;

  • congestive heart failure; or

  • high blood pressure

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether prednisone will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication. Prednisone can pass into breast milk but this is not expected to harm a nursing baby however, do not use prednisone without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Prednisone can affect growth in children. Talk with your doctor if you think your child is not growing at a normal rate while using this medication.

How should I take prednisone?

Take prednisone exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.

Take with food if prednisone upsets your stomach.

Your dosage needs may change if you have unusual stress such as a serious illness, fever or infection, or if you have surgery or a medical emergency. Tell your doctor about any such situation that affects you.

Measure liquid prednisone with a special dose measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Prednisone can cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using prednisone.

Do not stop using prednisone suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Talk to your doctor about how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when stopping the medication. Wear a medical alert tag or carry an ID card stating that you take prednisone. Any medical care provider who treats you should know that you are using prednisone.

Store prednisone at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

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

Long-term use of high prednisone doses can lead to symptoms such as thinning skin, easy bruising, changes in the shape or location of 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?

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

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while taking prednisone. The vaccine may not work as well during this time, and may not fully protect you from disease. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), oral polio, rotavirus, smallpox, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), H1N1 influenza, and nasal flu vaccine.

Avoid drinking alcohol while you are taking prednisone.

Prednisone side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to prednisone: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • blurred vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;

  • swelling, rapid weight gain, feeling short of breath;

  • severe depression, unusual thoughts or behavior, seizure (convulsions);

  • bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood;

  • pancreatitis (severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate);

  • low potassium (confusion, uneven heart rate, extreme thirst, increased urination, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling); or

  • dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).

Less serious prednisone side effects may include:

  • sleep problems (insomnia), mood changes;

  • acne, dry skin, thinning skin, bruising or discoloration;

  • slow wound healing;

  • increased sweating;

  • headache, dizziness, spinning sensation;

  • nausea, stomach pain, bloating; or

  • changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and waist).

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.

Prednisone Dosing Information

Usual Adult Prednisone Dose for Nephrotic Syndrome:

Initial (first three episodes): 2 mg/kg/day (maximum 80 mg/day) in divided doses 3 to 4 times/day until urine is protein free for 3 consecutive days (maximum: 28 days); followed by 1 to 1.5 mg/kg/dose given every other day for 4 weeks.
Maintenance dose for frequent relapses: 0.5 to 1 mg/kg/ dose given every other day for 3 to 6 months.

Usual Adult Prednisone Dose for Anti-inflammatory:

5 to 60 mg per day in divided doses 1 to 4 times/day.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Nephrotic Syndrome:

Initial (first three episodes): 2 mg/kg/day (maximum 80 mg/day) in divided doses 3 to 4 times/day until urine is protein free for 3 consecutive days (maximum: 28 days); followed by 1 to 1.5 mg/kg/dose given every other day for 4 weeks.
Maintenance dose for frequent relapses: 0.5 to 1 mg/kg/ dose given every other day for 3 to 6 months.

Usual Pediatric Prednisone Dose for Asthma:

< I year:
acute: 10 mg orally every 12 hours.
maintenance: 10 mg orally very other day.

1 to 4 years:
acute: 20 mg orally every 12 hours.
maintenance: 20 mg orally every other day.

5 to 12 years:
acute: 30 mg orally every 12 hours.
maintenance: 30 mg orally every other day.

>12 years:
acute: 40 mg orally every 12 hours.
maintenance: 40 mg orally every other day.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Anti-inflammatory:

0.05 to 2 mg/kg/day divided 1 to 4 times/day

Usual Pediatric Prednisone Dose for Immunosuppression:

0.05 to 2 mg/kg/day divided 1 to 4 times/day

What other drugs will affect prednisone?

Many drugs can interact with prednisone. Below is just a partial list. Tell your doctor if you are using:

  • aspirin (taken on a daily basis or at high doses);

  • a diuretic (water pill);

  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven);

  • cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune);

  • insulin or diabetes medications you take by mouth;

  • ketoconazole (Nizoral);

  • rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate, Rimactane); or

  • seizure medications such as phenytoin (Dilantin) or phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with prednisone. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.








Prednisone
Prednisone