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What Is Prednisone Used For?

Quick Summary

Prednisone is a corticosteroid medication used to treat a wide range of conditions, including inflammation, severe allergies, arthritis, asthma, lupus, and kidney problems. It works by suppressing the immune system to reduce swelling and allergic reactions. However, it is important to take prednisone as prescribed and be aware of potential side effects, such as weight gain and mood changes. Consulting a healthcare professional is crucial to ensure proper usage and address any concerns or interactions with other medications.


Prednisone is a corticosteroid medication that is commonly prescribed to treat a wide range of medical conditions. It belongs to a class of drugs known as corticosteroids, which are synthetic versions of the hormones produced naturally by the adrenal glands. Prednisone is used to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system in order to alleviate symptoms and manage certain health conditions.

When prescribed by a healthcare professional, prednisone can be an effective treatment option for individuals suffering from conditions such as inflammation, severe allergies, adrenal problems, arthritis, asthma, blood or bone marrow problems, endocrine problems, eye or vision problems, stomach or bowel problems, lupus, skin conditions, kidney problems, ulcerative colitis, and flare-ups of multiple sclerosis.

It is important to note that prednisone should only be taken under the guidance and supervision of a healthcare professional, as it can have potential side effects and interactions with other medications. It is crucial to follow the prescribed dosage and schedule, and not to stop taking prednisone abruptly without consulting a doctor.

Uses of Prednisone

Prednisone is a corticosteroid medication that is used to treat a variety of conditions. It is commonly prescribed to patients suffering from:

  • Inflammation
  • Severe allergies
  • Adrenal problems
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Blood or bone marrow problems
  • Endocrine problems
  • Eye or vision problems
  • Stomach or bowel problems
  • Lupus
  • Skin conditions
  • Kidney problems
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Flare-ups of multiple sclerosis

Prednisone works by suppressing the immune system, which helps to reduce swelling, redness, itching, and allergic reactions in the body. It is often prescribed when other treatments have failed to provide relief or when a patient’s condition requires immediate intervention.

Forms and Dosage of Prednisone

Prednisone is available in various forms, including tablets, solutions, and delayed-release tablets. The specific form prescribed will depend on the individual’s condition and the doctor’s recommendation.

Tablets: Prednisone tablets are the most common form of the medication. They are taken orally with water and can be easily swallowed.

Solutions: Prednisone solutions are liquid forms of the medication. They are typically measured using a dropper or a special measuring device. The solution can be mixed with water or another beverage for easier consumption.

Delayed-Release Tablets: Delayed-release tablets are designed to release the medication slowly over time. This can help maintain a steady level of prednisone in the body. These tablets are usually taken with food to prevent stomach upset.

The dosage and duration of prednisone treatment will vary depending on the specific medical condition being treated. It is important to follow the prescribed dosage and schedule provided by the doctor. Deviating from the prescribed dosage or stopping the medication suddenly without medical supervision can have adverse effects.

Doctors will consider factors such as the severity of the condition, the patient’s age, weight, and overall health when determining the appropriate dosage. They may also adjust the dosage over time based on the individual’s response to the medication.

It is crucial to take prednisone exactly as prescribed by a doctor. If a dose is missed, it should be taken as soon as possible. However, if it is close to the time for the next scheduled dose, the missed dose should be skipped. Doubling the dose to make up for a missed one is not recommended.

It is important to note that abruptly stopping prednisone can lead to withdrawal symptoms and a potential flare-up of the condition being treated. If the medication needs to be discontinued, it should be done gradually under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Side Effects of Prednisone

Prednisone, like any medication, can cause side effects. While not everyone experiences these side effects, it is important to be aware of them. Common side effects of prednisone may include:

  • Increased appetite
  • Weight gain
  • Mood changes
  • Fluid retention

In addition to these common side effects, prednisone may also cause more serious side effects. It is important to seek medical attention if you experience any of the following:

  • Vision problems
  • Infections
  • Seizures
  • Depression
  • Muscle twitching
  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Weight gain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Swelling or pain in the stomach
  • Rash

It is important to note that prednisone may slow growth and development in children. If your child is taking prednisone, it is essential to monitor their growth and discuss any concerns with their healthcare provider. Additionally, long-term use of prednisone can increase the risk of osteoporosis, a condition that weakens bones and makes them more prone to fractures.

If you experience any side effects while taking prednisone, it is crucial to consult your healthcare professional for guidance and support. They can provide personalized advice and help manage any potential side effects.

Precautions and Interactions

Before starting prednisone treatment, it is crucial to discuss any potential drug interactions and precautions with a healthcare professional. Prednisone can interact with other medications, supplements, or herbal products, which may affect its effectiveness or increase the risk of side effects. It is important to provide your healthcare provider with a complete list of all the medications you are currently taking, including over-the-counter drugs.

In addition to discussing potential interactions, it is essential to store prednisone properly. Keep the medication in its original packaging, away from moisture, heat, and direct sunlight. Follow the storage instructions provided by your healthcare provider or pharmacist to ensure the medication’s stability and effectiveness.

When you no longer need prednisone or have expired medication, it is important to dispose of it safely. Do not flush it down the toilet or throw it in the trash. Instead, consult your local pharmacy or healthcare provider for proper disposal methods. They can provide guidance on how to safely dispose of unused or expired prednisone to prevent accidental ingestion or environmental contamination.

Remember, prednisone is a powerful medication that should be taken under the guidance of a healthcare professional. If you have any concerns or questions about prednisone, it is always best to consult with your healthcare provider. They can provide personalized advice and address any specific concerns you may have.


  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/prednisone-oral-route/side-effects/drg-20075269?p=1
  2. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a601102.html
  3. https://www.kidney.org/content/what-you-need-know-about-prednisone

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