A medication available only by prescription, Prednisone is classified as a corticosteroid and is most commonly used as an immunosuppressant drug. This medication may be used to treat many different conditions that cause inflammation and it may even be used to treat cancer. While it is effective as a treatment to suppress the immune system, it needs to be prescribed with care because it will also leave the patient more at risk of developing other infections.
This medication is generally ingested in tablet form, and is available in a wide variety of dosages to fit each patient, their diagnosis, and their sensitivity accordingly. When a patient takes prednisone it is converted by the liver into a substance called prednisolone, which is a steroid. It can be used to treat many different conditions such as asthma, COPD, Crohn’s disease, rheumatic disorders, allergies, nephritic syndrome, thyroiditis, tuberculosis, MS, hypercalcemia, and ulcerative disorders. It can also be used in the treatment of migraines, cluster headaches, leukemia, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and hormone sensitive tumors and more.
As is the case with all medications on the market, Prednisone may cause some unintended and potentially serious side effects. Some of the more common adverse effects include but are not limited to high blood glucose, fluid retention, insomnia, euphoria, and in some cases mania. Those who are taking prednisone are more prone to infection and patients need to take care not to come in contact with those who have measles, tetanus, staph infections, meningitis, or chicken pox. Long term patients may experience weight gain, Cushing’s syndrome, osteoporosis, glaucoma, cataracts, diabetes, and depression. Patients should discuss side effects with their doctor as they occur.