Prednisone:Uses,Side Effects And More

Medically reviewed by Maria Sarino, MD FACT CHECKED

A prescription drug known as prednisone is used to treat a variety of medical ailments. It is a corticosteroid that works by reducing immunological activity and bodily inflammation.

Prednisone and other corticosteroids imitate the actions of hormones that your body naturally generates. Prednisone was first authorized by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in 1955.

A steroid, prednisone, is used to prevent and treat a wide range of inflammatory diseases. Prednisone is effective in treating problems involving allergic responses and an overactive immune system.

It could help you feel better quickly, but if you use it frequently, it may also have adverse effects. It is, after all, a corticosteroid. These synthetic steroids resemble the hormone cortisol, which your body naturally produces.

Prednisone functions by lessening the number of substances in your body that are generally responsible for redness, itchiness, swelling, and pain.

There are numerous conditions for which this drug is prescribed. Generally speaking, it’s used to treat autoimmune illnesses, cancer, and conditions that include edema. Here, we will be looking at all about Prednisone.

A common corticosteroid that reduces inflammation and suppresses the immune system is prednisone.

It cures a variety of ailments and diseases, including lupus, arthritis, gastrointestinal disorders, leukemia, and other types of cancer, multiple sclerosis flare-ups, and lung issues.

Prednisone is a man-made form of the hormone glucocorticoid, which is naturally created by the adrenal glands.

It acts as an anti-inflammatory agent to relieve symptoms of a variety of conditions, especially aches, itching, and pain. It also supplements low levels of steroids in the body.

Corticosteroids are utilized in inflammatory disorders due to their anti-inflammatory actions, in contrast to anabolic steroids (used by bodybuilders), which promote muscle growth.

Prednisone acts quickly and deeply on many immune system components as well as the majority of other physiological systems.

The majority of vasculitis types could be successfully treated with prednisone, which is frequently combined with additional immunosuppressive drugs.

What Is The Use Of Prednisone?

Prednisone reduces inflammation in your body. It may  also treat health conditions like:

  • Asthma
  • Anemia
  • Bursitis
  • Allergies
  • Colitis
  • Endocrine disorders, such as congenital adrenal hyperplasia or adrenal insufficiency
  • Dermatitis
  • Eye ulcer
  • Eye inflammation
  • Lung diseases, such as aspiration pneumonia or sarcoidosis
  • Multiple sclerosis exacerbations
  • Lupus and nephrotic syndrome
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Optic neuritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Psoriasis
  • Symptoms of leukemia or lymphoma
  • Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count)

How Does Prednisone Work?

Like other corticosteroids, prednisone rapidly reduces inflammation, which lessens swelling, discomfort, and redness. Additionally, it weakens your immune system.

The immune system guards you against bacteria and viruses that cause diseases and infections. Your immune system may occasionally overreact and attack the tissues in your body. Prednisone halts the assault.

There is evidence that low-dose prednisone may, albeit not as well as other arthritis drugs, delay joint degeneration in rheumatoid arthritis patients. Additionally, it may have unfavorable long-term adverse effects.

Side Effects Of Prednisone

Prednisone side effects vary depending on the length of therapy and dosage. Some of the side effects are:

  • Heartburn
  • Weight gain
  • Increased appetite
  • Acne
  • Bone pain
  • Palpitations (a sensation the heart is skipping a beat or beating too fast)
  • Bleeding or easy bruising
  • Mood changes, such as mood swings, depression, and agitation
  • Menstrual period changes
  • Slow wound healing
  • Puffy face
  • Swelling in feet, hands, and ankles
  • Thinning skin
  • Vision problems, such as blurred vision
  • Weight gain
  • Weakness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Black or tarry stools
  • Raised sugar level
  • Vomit that looks like coffee grounds
  • Serious allergic reactions, such as swelling, rash, itching, trouble breathing, and dizziness
  • Nausea

Children’s growth may be affected by prednisone. If your child is receiving this medication and not growing at a typical rate, let your doctor know.

Dosage Of Prednisone

Prednisone is ingested orally as a liquid or pill. Under the trade name Rayos, Prednisone is also accessible as a delayed-release tablet.

  • Oral prednisone intensol concentrated solution: 5 mg/1 mL
  • Oral prednisone solution: 5 mg per 5 mL
  • Delayed-release tablets: 1 mg, 2 mg, and 5 mg
  • Tablets: 1 mg, 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg, and 50 mg

Adult Dosage Of Prednisone

Prednisone has almost 60 different medical uses for which it has been approved as a primary or supportive treatment. Numerous additional medical disorders are also treated with prednisone.

Depending on the kind and degree of the medical issue being treated, dosages might range from as low as 2 mg per day to as much as 1000 mg per day (for 4-6 days). Numerous situations require doses to be based on body weight.

  • The recommended dosage for adults: is 4-65 mg of prednisone per day
  • Maximum dosage for adults: It varies by a medical condition

Warnings Of Prednisone

Prednisone users may experience elevated sugar levels, which is particularly concerning for diabetics. Prednisone could raise the risk of infection since it inhibits the body’s immune system.

As a result, safety measures must be adopted. Before beginning prednisone, discuss the following with your doctor:

  • If you have previously experienced sensitivities to prednisone or other steroid medications
  • You are presently taking other prescription drugs
  • If you have diabetes
  • Whether you suffer from high blood pressure
  • If you are expecting or intend to get pregnant

How Long Is Prednisone Safe To Take?

Prednisone would often be used at the lowest dose for the shortest amount of time for the majority of diseases.

Prednisone and other corticosteroids decrease vital hormone production in the adrenal and pituitary glands in addition to having unpleasant side effects.

When the medicine is stopped, this suppression may result in serious hormone abnormalities, withdrawal symptoms, and stunted growth in children.

Serious adverse effects of long-term prednisone use include cataracts, glaucoma, glucose intolerance, bone loss as a result of calcium deficiency, and weight gain.

Prednisone may be prescribed permanently for some medical disorders as long as it is helpful and its adverse effects are manageable.

Long-term prednisone treatment may entail Alternate Day Therapy dosing to lessen the impact of prednisone on the body’s hormones.

Every other day, a double dose is taken, followed by a day off. Prednisone should never be stopped abruptly. Instead, the dose is always tapered off gradually to prevent withdrawal.

Prednisone inhibits the body’s natural synthesis of cortisol, a hormone that functions similarly to prednisolone. Prednisone suppresses hormones, which over time may result in potentially dangerous and even lethal steroid withdrawal symptoms.


To treat the symptoms of low corticosteroid levels, prednisone is prescribed either alone or in combination with other drugs. Patients with normal corticosteroid levels could also take prednisone to treat other ailments.

By altering immune system functioning and lowering inflammation, prednisone helps treat many disorders. Prednisone is also occasionally used to treat the signs and symptoms of specific cancers.

Prednisone belongs to the corticosteroid drug class. It works by substituting the body’s regular natural production of steroids to treat patients with low levels of corticosteroids.

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