Prednisone is a derivative of cortisone (steroid) which is used in diseases where the cortico-adrenal glands fail to produce enough of their hormones. In addition, prednisone is used more often for a variety of conditions such as arthritis, collagen diseases, skin diseases, allergies, respiratory diseases and disorders of the blood in all these diseases. This drug is also said to significantly reduce cancer through the side effects attendant to the user are pretty many, considering that it weakens the immune system and thus makes the body liable to many other infections. Corticosteroids reduce inflammatory processes and provide rapid symptomatic relief but do not, however, address the disease process itself. Arthur Nobile was the first ever person to identify the prednisone structure.
The Normal Dose
In acute cases, high doses can work for short periods, after a few days, however, we must reduce the dosage or stop treatment gradually. In chronic conditions, treatment should be started at low doses and gradually increased in an attempt to find the minimum dose for which the desired results are obtained. It is better to take corticosteroids as a single dose in the morning around 8:00 am and is also a good practice to concentrate the dose to two days to allow cortico-adrenal glands to continue their work.
Prednisone can be irritating to the stomach, so it is best to take it with food. However, if you still have trouble digesting, feel a burning sensation or pain, talk to your doctor.
Generally, corticosteroids should not be used on people with active tuberculosis, peptic ulcer, diabetes, severe hypertension, severe psychiatric disorders, osteoporosis and severe (bacterial, viral or fungal) infections. In addition, people who have a history of the thromboembolic disease should not use them. During pregnancy and lactation, corticosteroids reach the fetus and baby and can cause growth disorders.
Possible Side Effects
Taken for a short time, prednisone cause relatively few side effects and difficulty in digesting, increased appetite, nervousness, trouble sleeping and a tendency to gain weight can occur. It is best to talk to a doctor if one of the following symptoms occur; blurry or confused vision, frequent urination, and increased thirst.
The medium-term ingestion of prednisone can cause impotence, a cessation of menstruation, constipation, acne, depression, dizziness, pain and burning sensation in the stomach, nausea, and vomiting, irregular heartbeat, sore throat with fever, weakness, difficulty in healing of wounds, pain in the back or ribs.
In the longer term, more serious effects mark a profound disturbance of glandular mechanisms, diabetes can be triggered or aggravated, osteoporosis in postmenopausal women can be accelerated, stones can form in the kidneys, high blood pressure, embolism, glaucoma, and edema may occur.
In children, prednisone may delay or disrupt growth.
Corticosteroids work less well when taken in conjunction with barbiturates or diuretics. They increase the action of oral anticoagulants and thyroid extracts. When simultaneously ingested with salicylates, they diminish the therapeutic effects but increase the ulcerative effect.
When combined with antidepressants, it may precipitate glaucoma with asthma, they cause an irregular heartbeat. Taken together with oral contraceptives, corticosteroids have their effectiveness and side effects increased, so perhaps one should reduce the dose by about 50% to achieve the same results.
- Corticosteroids mask signs of infection, but do not prevent diseases, in case of discomfort we must pay special attention to all symptoms and share them with the doctor.
- Corticosteroids more or less cause a loss of potassium, so it is prudent to regularly eat foods that are high in potassium
- During periods of stress, the need for corticosteroids is increased and may increase the dosage that is required to achieve the same effect.
- Alcohol consumption increases the risk of stomach trouble.
- General anesthesia can lead to dropping in blood pressure in people treated with corticosteroids, it is necessary to prevent doctors or dentists from using this drug when you have to undergo anesthesia.
- Never be vaccinated during treatment with corticosteroids as the risk of triggering the disease against immunization becomes greater.
- Corticosteroids reduce the effectiveness of IUDs and probably increase the risk of pelvic infection associated with this contraceptive method.
- Never stop self-treatment with corticosteroids, as these drugs replace the hormones normally produced by the adrenal glands, they are at rest during treatment and may require a shorter or longer period before they resume normal operation.
To stop the use of corticosteroids, it should be very gradual and closely monitored, and indeed sometimes even depression and psychosis occur during this period. Some symptoms may indicate that the withdrawal is too fast: abdominal pain or back pain, dizziness or fainting, fever, muscle aches or joint aches, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite and weight, shortness of breath, unusual tiredness or weakness; contact a physician.
If for some reason or another you have to go from one steroid prednisone to another, in the process (or vice versa) be aware that such prescriptions are not equivalent from one to another.
Corticosteroids have been welcomed by physicians as a panacea, in a variety of conditions, because they provide quick relief, however, which is soon accompanied by a host of side effects they may cause.
So before using them, you should carefully weigh the pros and cons, and if you decide to take steroids when there is ultimately no alternative treatment possible, very close medical supervision is necessary: dosage should be carefully individualized, against the many well-respected indications, side effects are constantly identified.
In particular, blood pressure and weight should be checked regularly during a long-term treatment. When corticosteroid therapy is indicated, you must try to stick to the lowest dosage and shortest treatment duration as short as possible.
Works well for many localized diseases (muscle, joint, etc.). The cortico-therapy has the advantage of being possible by injection. When the mouth is indicated, Prednisone is the drug of choice. There are several presentations of prednisone with large price changes, here as elsewhere, generic drugs are less expensive. The pharmaceutical industry has marketed a variety of steroids, they bring nothing more than the prednisone and only their determination and their prices differ.
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