What Is Prednisone?
Prednisone is a corticosteroid drug.
Corticosteroids are medications used to bring down inflammation levels in the body by decreasing the activity of the immune system.
Prednisone is a prodrug – a prodrug is a modified form of the actual drug.
Prednisone is converted into an active form called prednisolone in the liver.
As of 2019, prednisone was the 27th most common medication prescribed in the United States.
It is available in both liquid and tablet forms. Prednisone tablets come in two variants – immediate-release and extended-release.
Prednisone is available in brand names Rayos, Deltasone, and Sterapred.
Is Meloxicam A Narcotic?
Meloxicam is not a narcotic drug.
It belongs to a category of medications called Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) and brings down inflammation in the body.
What Is Prednisone Used For?
Prednisone may be used to treat low corticosteroid levels in the body.
Corticosteroids regulate inflammation and metabolic functions in the body, and low levels of corticosteroids may increase the risk of inflammation.
Prednisone is prescribed for many inflammatory conditions like arthritis, ulcerative colitis, psoriasis, and other skin diseases, symptoms of allergies, multiple sclerosis, and lupus.
Prednisone is an antitumor drug and is also used to treat symptoms of certain cancers like Hodgkin and Non-Hodgkin lymphomas, multiple myeloma, and leukemia.
Steroids like prednisone are also given along with immunosuppressants to prevent organ rejection in patients going through an organ transplant.
What Does Prednisone Do To Your Body?
Prednisone works by reducing the activity of the immune system.
Doing so brings down symptoms like inflammation and redness in the body.
What Is The Average Dose Of Prednisone For Poison Ivy?
In most cases of Toxicodendron contact dermatitis (skin allergy due to exposure to poison ivy), adults may require a two-week course of prednisone.
From 30 mg, your doctor will slowly reduce the dosage until the symptoms disappear.
Healthcare experts will be able to prescribe the proper dosages based on the symptoms. It is not recommended to self-medicate yourself.
How Does Prednisone Work?
Prednisone works like other corticosteroids – by suppressing the immune system’s activity.
These drugs switch off the functioning of various genes that control inflammation in the body.
As a result, the body’s inflammatory levels reduce.
Prednisone is converted into its active form called prednisolone in the body, and it is this substance that helps reduce inflammation.
How Long Does It Take Prednisone To Work?
The immediate-release tablet is absorbed in the bloodstream in about 2 hours.
The delayed-release tablet is absorbed and starts working in about 6 hours.
How Long Does Prednisone Stay In Your System?
Prednisone remains in the body for up to 22 hours before the body can eliminate it.
Side Effects Of Prednisone
Some of the common side effects of prednisone are:
- Bloating and heartburn
- Sleep disorders
- Acne and other skin disorders
- Slow healing of wounds and cuts
- Increased sweating
Some of the more severe side effects of prednisone are:
- Vision problems
- Rapid weight gain
- Mood disorders
- Blood in the stools
- Blood while coughing
- Extremely high blood pressure levels
- Low potassium levels
- Frequent infections
What Is The Downside Of Taking Prednisone?
Prednisone suppresses the immune system and puts you at excess risk of developing bacterial, fungal, and viral infections.
Does Prednisone Raise Blood Pressure?
Yes, prednisone may increase blood pressure levels in a few people because it leads to fluid retention in the body.
Will I Gain Weight Taking Prednisone For 5 Days?
All steroid medications may lead to weight gain because of fluid retention and increased appetite.
However, weight gain is more common with extended use of the drug.
Taking prednisone for up to five days may not lead to weight gain in most people.
Does Prednisone Make You Pee?
Studies show that low-dose prednisone may lead to increased urination.
Interestingly, researchers did not find the same effect in higher drug doses.
Can Prednisone Cause UTI?
Corticosteroid drugs like prednisone reduce the body’s ability to fight infections and increase the risk of developing urinary tract infections.
Can Prednisone Cause Yeast Infection?
Yes. Since prednisone reduces the functioning of the immune system, it may increase the risk of developing yeast infections.
Interactions With Other Drugs
Prednisone may interact with other drugs and cause changes in drug efficacies or severe side effects.
Notify your doctor if you use prednisone with the below medications.
- Blood thinners like warfarin
- Drugs used to cause an abortion like mifepristone
- Aldesleukin (a drug used to treat Renal Cell Carcinoma)
- Antibiotics and antifungal and antiviral medications
- Birth control medications
- Diuretics (used to reduce high blood pressure by reducing water content in the body)
- HIV medications
- Seizure medications like phenobarbital, fosphenytoin, and carbamazepine
Can You Take Painkillers With Meloxicam?
Meloxicam is an anti-inflammatory painkiller, and taking it together with other pain killers may lead to a drug overdose.
Your doctor can prescribe safe painkillers you can take with meloxicam.
Can I Take Ibuprofen With Prednisone?
Prednisone and ibuprofen may both cause gastrointestinal problems when taken together.
Your doctor will be able to decide whether or not to combine these drugs.
Can I Take Tylenol With Prednisone?*
There are no known drug interactions between Tylenol and prednisone.
Can You Take Benadryl With Prednisone?*
There are no known drug interactions between Benadryl and prednisone.
Can You Take Mucinex With Prednisone?*
There are no known drug interactions between Mucinex and prednisone.
*Though there are no known drug interactions, it is important to consult a physician before taking any other drug with prednisone.
Prednisone: Gene-Drug Interactions
The ABCB1 Gene
The ATP Binding Cassette Subfamily B Member 1 gene (ABCB1 gene) provides instructions for producing the ABC proteins.
These proteins control the accumulation of different drugs in the body’s cells, including prednisone.
rs1045642 is a Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) in the ABCB1 gene.
Pediatric patients with the GG genotype of this SNP have an increased risk of remaining on steroids like prednisone one-year post heart transplantation when compared to patients with the AG and AA genotypes.
|Increased risk of remaining on steroids like prednisone one-year post heart transplantation
|Decreased risk of remaining on steroids like prednisone one-year post heart transplantation
|Decreased risk of remaining on steroids like prednisone one-year post heart transplantation
Recommendations To Use Prednisone
Prednisone Dependency, Withdrawal, And Addison Crisis
Drug dependency is a rare side effect of prednisone that can occur in people who use high doses for an extended period.
Though not addictive, the drug can reduce the body’s natural ability to produce corticosteroids.
As a result, abrupt withdrawal of the medication may lead to a condition called Addison crisis.
Addison crisis is caused by inadequate production of steroid hormones like cortisol and aldosterone.
Signs of Addison crisis include:
- Gastric problems
- Reduced sex drive
- Abnormal menstrual periods
- Behavioral disorders
If you have been on prednisone for a long time now, you may need to slowly bring down the doses to prevent withdrawal symptoms.
Prednisone can cause severe allergic reactions in a few people.
If you notice the below symptoms after using prednisone, dial 911 right away.
- Breathing difficulties
- Swelling of the face, tongue, and lips
Risk Of Gastrointestinal Conditions
One of the very common side effects of corticosteroid drugs is gastrointestinal (GI) adverse effects.
You can reduce the intensity of gastric problems by consuming prednisone after a meal instead of on an empty stomach.
Some studies prove that the GI effects are 4-times more when prednisone is combined with NSAIDs.
Risk Of Infections
Since prednisone reduces immune system activity, it may increase the risk of infections.
In people with active infections, it can worsen the condition.
Because of a suppressed immune system, the infection may not be detected until it worsens.
You may be advised not to get vaccinations or immunizations while on prednisone.
Risk Of Mood Disorders
In people with existing mental health conditions, extended use or high doses of prednisone may worsen the side effects.
If you are treated for mood or behavioral disorders, consult your doctor about the risks of using prednisone.
Risk Of Weak Bones
Prednisone-induced osteoporosis (a condition causing weak and brittle bones) is one of the rare side effects of the drug that cannot be ignored.
Almost all steroid medications change how the body absorbs and utilizes calcium and vitamin D.
Bone loss is dosage and duration dependent.
It is essential to regularly check your Bone Mineral Density (BMD) while on prednisone, especially in older patients and in menopausal women.
All steroid drugs may affect the rate of growth in children.
If your child is prescribed prednisone, talk to your pediatrician and understand the risks.
Some studies show that pediatric use of prednisone may lead to adverse psychiatric and behavioral effects in children and adolescents.
Usage In Pregnant And Breastfeeding Women
Problems like ruptured amniotic membranes and low birth weight may occur in children whose mothers were on prednisone during pregnancy.
Prednisone may be expressed in breastmilk.
If you are pregnant or lactating, talk to your doctor and analyze the risks and benefits of using the drug.
Genetic testing can help predict a person’s dependency on prednisone after an organ transplant.
This may help plan the correct dosages initially and decide on the right discontinuation plan.
What Is Considered A High Dose Of Prednisone?
Dosage higher than 40 mg/day is considered high.
Can You Drink Alcohol With Prednisone?
While there are no negative interactions between moderate alcohol consumption and prednisone levels, you could increase the risk of gastric problems, ulcers, mood disorders, type II diabetes, and weight gain if you combine alcohol and prednisone for an extended period.
What Is Similar To Prednisone Over The Counter?
Most of the corticosteroids, including prednisone, are not available over the counter.
You may find OTC alternatives to handle pain, but these may only provide temporary relief.
Is 40mg Of Prednisone A High Dose?
40 mg of prednisone is a borderline high dose.
Values higher than this are considered high doses.
- Prednisone is a corticosteroid drug that suppresses the activity of the immune system and brings down inflammation levels in the body.
- It is used to treat a variety of inflammatory conditions, autoimmune diseases, and even some cancers.
- Some of the side effects of prednisone are dizziness, headaches, gastrointestinal troubles, sleep disorders, high blood pressure, and mood disorders.
- Prednisone can interact with NSAIDs, HIV medications, antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal medications, blood thinners, and diuretics and lead to changes in drug efficacy or severe side effects.
- Changes in the ABCB1 gene can increase or decrease a person’s prednisone requirement after a heart transplant.
- Prednisone’s use can lead to a withdrawal condition called Addison crisis in some people. Pregnant women and children must use the drug only about the physician’s advice.
- Prednisone can increase the risk of mood disorders, infections, and osteoporosis and may lead to stunted growth in children.
- Genetic testing will help understand how long a person may need to be on prednisone after an organ transplant. This may help plan drug dosages better.