Generic Name: prednisone (PRED-ni-sone)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.
Prednisone is used for:
Treating severe allergies, arthritis, asthma, multiple sclerosis, and skin conditions. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Prednisone is a corticosteroid. It works by decreasing or preventing tissues from responding to inflammation. It also modifies the body's response to certain immune stimulation.
Do NOT use prednisone if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in prednisone
- you have a systemic fungal infection
- you are currently taking mifepristone
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using prednisone:
Some medical conditions may interact with prednisone. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you are scheduled for a vaccination with a live virus vaccine (eg, smallpox)
- if you have an underactive thyroid, liver or kidney problems, diabetes, or ulcerative colitis
- if you have heart problems, esophagitis, gastritis, stomach obstruction or perforation, or an ulcer
- if you have a history of mental problems, such as depression
- if you have a herpes infection in your eye or any other type of infection (bacterial, fungal, or viral); have or recently had tuberculosis (TB) or tested positive for TB, measles, or chickenpox
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with prednisone. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Barbiturates (eg, phenobarbital), carbamazepine, hydantoins (eg, phenytoin), or rifampin because the effectiveness of prednisone may be decreased
- Clarithromycin azole antifungals (eg, ketoconazole), steroidal contraceptives (eg, desogestrel), or troleandomycin because side effects, such as weakness, confusion, muscle aches, joint pain, or low blood sugar, may occur
- Methotrexate or ritodrine because the actions and side effects of these medicines may be increased
- Hydantoins (eg, phenytoin), mifepristone, or live vaccines because the effectiveness of these medicines may be decreased
- Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin) or aspirin because the actions and side effects of these medicines may be increased or decreased
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if prednisone may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use prednisone:
Use prednisone as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Take prednisone by mouth with food.
- Prednisone comes as a dose pack with specific instructions as to when to take the medicine or how much to take each time. It is very important to follow these instructions as closely as possible. Do not miss any doses.
- If you miss a dose of prednisone, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use prednisone.
Important safety information:
- Patients on long-term steroid therapy should carry an ID card at all times that says they take prednisone.
- Prednisone makes you more susceptible to illnesses, especially if you take it for an extended period of time. Prevent infection by avoiding contact with people who have colds or other infections. If you are exposed to chickenpox, measles, or TB while taking prednisone or within 12 months after stopping prednisone, call your doctor. Report any injuries or signs of an infection (fever, sore throat, pain during urination, or muscle aches) that occur during treatment and within 12 months after stopping prednisone. Your dose may need to be adjusted or you may need to start taking prednisone again.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take prednisone before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Prednisone may cause an elevation in blood pressure, salt and water retention, and increased potassium loss. You may need to restrict the use of salt and take a calcium supplement.
- Prednisone can cause calcium loss and promote the development of osteoporosis. Take adequate calcium and vitamin D supplements.
- Do not receive a live vaccine, especially smallpox, while you are taking prednisone.
- Diabetes patients - Prednisone may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
- Lab tests may be performed while you use prednisone. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Infants and CHILDREN on long-term therapy must be closely monitored by a health care provider.
- Corticosteroids may affect growth rate in CHILDREN and teenagers in some cases. They may need regular growth checks while they take prednisone.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using prednisone while you are pregnant. Prednisone is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use prednisone, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of prednisone:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Difficulty sleeping; feeling of a whirling motion; increased appetite; increased sweating; indigestion; mood changes; nervousness.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); appetite loss; black, tarry stools; changes in menstrual periods; convulsions; depression; diarrhea; dizziness; exaggerated sense of well-being; fever; general body discomfort; headache; increased pressure in the eye; joint or muscle pain; mood swings; muscle weakness; personality changes; prolonged sore throat, cold, or fever; puffing of the face; severe nausea or vomiting; swelling of feet or legs; unusual weight gain; vomiting material that looks like coffee grounds; weakness; weight loss.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.Proper storage of prednisone:
Store prednisone at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep prednisone out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about prednisone, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Prednisone is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take prednisone or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about prednisone. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to prednisone. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using prednisone.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
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