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Prednisone is a hormonal agent demonstrating analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. The main active ingredient of this drug is prednisolone. This substance belongs to the group of glucocorticosteroid hormones and demonstrates the following effects:
Despite therapeutic benefits, hormonal drugs are not always the preferred choice of therapy and are often prescribed only when non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are ineffective. In contrast to the high efficacy of Prednisone, this drug is also associated with causing a large number of side effects.
Prednisone is available in two forms:
The high effectiveness of this drug and the variety of forms of release makes it possible to use it in various fields of medicine.
Prednisone may be prescribed for the treatment of the following diseases and/or conditions:
- Rheumatic carditis and fever
- Multiple sclerosis
- Bronchial asthma or asthmatic status
- Lung cancer
- Hyperplasia of the adrenal glands
- Autoimmune (e.g., systemic, cutaneous and others)
- Inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract
- Eye allergies of autoimmune etiology
- Hypercalcemia in oncology
- Systemic connective tissue (e.g., scleroderma and systemic lupus erythematosus)
- Joint inflammation
- Lungs (e.g., pneumonia)
- Adrenal insufficiency
- Adrenogenital syndrome
- Nephrotic syndrome
- Edema and brain tumors
- Prevention of reactions after transplantation operations, as well as relief of nausea in the treatment of cytostatics
Prednisone can be used in children >6 years of age. General indications for use in children are the same as for adult patients.
Prednisone tablets should be taken orally with water in the morning (from 6 to 8 o’clock in the morning) at breakfast or immediately after. This drug should generally be taken daily or as a double dose every other day. The high daily dose is divided into 2-4 administrations, with most of this occurring in the morning. In acute conditions and as a substitute treatment for adults, it is recommended to start with a dose equal to 20-30 mg/day. Maintenance therapy should be carried out at a dose equal to 5-10 mg/day. Some diseases (for example, nephrotic syndrome, individual rheumatic diseases) require higher doses.
Contraindications to using Prednisone include:
- Hypersensitivity to components
- Infectious diseases of viral, bacterial, fungal etiology, including recently transferred
- Post-vaccination period
- Immunodeficiency conditions
- Endocrine disorders like diabetes, thyroid disease
- Diseases of the digestive system such as ulcer, gastritis, nonspecific colitis
- Severe renal or hepatic insufficiency
- Myasthenia gravis, severe myopathy
- Mental diseases
Official instructions included with this drug describe the following undesirable side effects:
- Masking symptoms of infectious diseases
- Change in blood indicators, in particular, eosinophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, clotting
- Diabetes mellitus, slower growth in children and adolescents, menstrual irregularities, obesity, bleeding, hirsutism
- Metabolic disorders such as those involving electrolytes, proteins, glucose, sodium, and potassium ions
- Mental disorders including depression, irritability, psychoses, epileptic seizures, dementia, mood changes and decreased cognitive functions
- Impaired nervous system
- Glaucoma, trophic, and functional impaired vision
- Arrhythmia, edema, atherosclerosis, and heart failure
- Nausea, flatulence, exacerbation of ulcers, pancreatitis, and internal bleeding
- Hematomas, striae, thinning of the skin, erythema, acne, and pyoderma
- Deceleration of ossification, osteoporosis, rupture of tendons, and muscle and joint pain
An important side effect of this drug is withdrawal syndrome. When the use of Prednisone is abruptly discontinued, the patient may feel an exacerbation of the disease, as well as other undesirable reactions.