Prednisone Side Effects
Prednisone is the generic name for the drug brand Deltasone. It is
a steroid drug, and typically used to reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms
in a variety of disorders, including severe cases of asthma and rheumatoid
arthritis. It may also be given to treat primary or secondary adrenal cortex
insufficiency (lack of sufficient adrenal hormone in the body). Prednisone
is also prescribed for the treatment of a wide range of other conditions,
including but not limited to, blood disorders, Meningitis, Skin diseases,
Trichinosis and eye diseases of various kinds.
Prednisone Side Effects
Side effects from using Prednisone cannot be anticipatedin for every person
that takes it. If you're taking this prescription drug and notice that any
develop, change in intensity, or are particularly bothering, inform a doctor
as soon as possible. Only a doctor can determine if it is safe for you to
continue taking Prednisone once side effects have been noted.
Prednisone may cause insomnia, mood changes, personality changes, euphoria,
psychotic behavior, or severe depression. It may even worsen any existing
emotional instability in some individuals.
At a high dosage, Prednisone may cause high blood pressure and fluid retention.
If this occurs, you may need a low-salt diet and a potassium supplement as
With prolonged Prednisone treatment, eye problems may develop (e.g., a viral
or fungal eye infection, cataracts, or glaucoma).
Additionally, if Prednisone is taken over the long term, the buildup of adrenal
hormones in the patient's body may cause a condition called Cushing's syndrome.
This condition is marked by weight gain, a "moon-faced" appearance,
fragile-thin skin, muscle weakness, brittle bones, and purplish stripe marks
on the skin. Women are particularly vulnerable to this problem, however alternate-day
therapy may help prevent its development.
It is quite possible for side effects other than those listed here to occur.
If this happens and/or if any seem particularly strange or bothersome, contact
a healthcare provider.
Other potential Prednisone Side Effects
Convulsions, distended abdomen, face redness, glaucoma, headache, hives and
other allergic-type reactions, increased pressure inside eyes or skull, inflamed
esophagus or pancreas, bone fractures, bruising, bulging eyes, congestive
heart failure, irregular menstrual periods, muscle weakness or disease, osteoporosis,
peptic ulcer, poor healing of wounds, stunted growth (in children), sweating,
Special Prednisone Precautions
Prednisone lowers the body's resistance to infections and can make them harder
to treat. It may also mask some of the signs of an infection, making it difficult
for your doctor to diagnose actual problems, if any.
A patient should not take Prednisone if they have ever had an allergic reaction
to it. Additionally, you should not be treated with Prednisone if you have
a body-wide fungus infection, such as candidiasis or cryptococcosis.
Do not get a smallpox vaccination or any other immunization while you are
taking Prednisone. The vaccination might not "take," and could do
harm to the body's nervous system.
Prednisone may reactivate a dormant case of tuberculosis. If you have inactive
TB and must take Prednisone for an extended time, you should be given anti-TB
medication as well.
If you have an underactive thyroid gland or cirrhosis of the liver, your doctor
will probably need to prescribe a lower-than-average Prednisone dosage for
If you have an eye infection caused by the herpes simplex virus, Prednisone
should be used with great caution; there is a potential danger that the cornea
will become perforated.
A few people taking Prednisone may develop Kaposi's sarcoma, a form of cancer;
it may however disappear when the drug is stopped.
Long-term treatment with Prednisone may stunt growth. If Prednisone is given
to a child, the youngster's growth should be monitored carefully. Also, diseases
such as chickenpox or measles can be very serious or even fatal in both children
and adults who are taking Prednisone. Avoid exposure to these diseases.
Prednisone should also be taken with caution if the patient has any of the
following conditions: Diverticulitis or other disorder of the intestine; High
blood pressure; Kidney disorder; Myasthenia gravis (a muscle-weakness disorder);
Osteoporosis (brittle bones); Peptic ulcer; Ulcerative colitis (inflammation
of the bowel).
If Prednisone is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could
be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with
your doctor before combining Prednisone with any of the following drugs -
Amphotericin B (Fungizone); Blood thinners such as Coumadin; Carbamazepine
(Tegretol); Estrogen drugs such as Premarin; Ketoconazole (Nizoral); Oral
contraceptives; Phenobarbital (Donnatal, others); Phenytoin (Dilantin); Potent
diuretics such as Lasix; Rifampin (Rifadin); Troleandomycin (Tao). Let your
doctor know about any other prescription or non-prescription drugs that you
may be taking while also taking Prednisone.
Warning: This information is intended to
supplement, not be a substitute for the expertise and judgment of
a doctor. Please consult a doctor for final and more detailed information
about the possible side effects of this prescription medication.