Epocrates, the leading provider of handheld and web-based clinical reference tools
The clinical content below is part of the Epocrates Rx Online™ database.
For a free trial of Epocrates Rx Online, visit us at www.epocrates.com.


Epocrates Rx Online™


Drug


prednisone
generic
 



Generic Name:prednisone
Pronounced:PRED ni sone
Brand Names:Deltasone, Liquid Pred, Meticorten, Orasone, Prednicen-M, Sterapred, Sterapred DS

What is the most important information I should know about prednisone?

Do not stop taking prednisone suddenly if you have been taking it for a few weeks. You may need a gradual reduction in dosage before you stop taking this medication.
Take prednisone with food or milk to lessen stomach upset.
Carry some type of medical identification that will let others know you are taking prednisone in the case of an emergency.

What is prednisone?
Prednisone is in a class of drugs called steroids. Prednisone reduces swelling and decreases the body's ability to fight infections.
Prednisone is used to treat many different conditions. It is used to treat endocrine (hormonal) disorders when the body does not produce enough of its own steroids. It is also used to treat many disorders such as arthritis, lupus, severe psoriasis, severe asthma, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn's disease.
Prednisone may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

Who should not take prednisone?
Do not take prednisone if you have a serious bacterial, viral, or fungal infection. Prednisone weakens the body's immune response and thus its ability to fight infection.
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have
  • kidney disease,
  • liver disease,
  • high blood pressure or heart disease,
  • ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, or stomach ulcers,
  • hypothyroidism,
  • a psychiatric condition,
  • osteoporosis,
  • myasthenia gravis,
  • diabetes mellitus, or
  • any other medical conditions.
You may not be able to take prednisone, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.
Prednisone is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether prednisone will harm an unborn baby. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant.
Prednisone passes into breast milk. Do not take prednisone without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take prednisone?

Take prednisone exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more or less than is prescribed for you. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.
Take each dose with a full glass of water.
Take prednisone with food or milk to lessen stomach upset.
Measure the liquid with the dropper provided or with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup. Ask your pharmacist for a dose-measuring spoon or cup if you do not have one.
If you are taking one dose daily, take that dose before 9 a.m. if possible, to follow the body's natural cycle. If you take more than one dose daily, space the doses evenly throughout the day as directed by your doctor.
Do not stop taking prednisone suddenly if you have been taking it for a few weeks. You may need a gradual reduction in dosage before you stop taking this medication.
Carry some type of medical identification that will let others know you are taking prednisone in the case of an emergency.
Store prednisone at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?
If you take one dose daily, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if you don't remember until the next day, skip the dose you missed and take only your regular daily dose.
If you take more than one dose daily, you can either take the missed dose as soon as you remember, or you can take two doses at the next dose time.
If you take one dose every other day, take the missed dose as soon as you remember, then go back to your regular every-other-day schedule.

What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention. A single large dose of this medication is unlikely to cause symptoms or death. An overdose is more likely to be caused by a chronic overdose--large doses taken over a period of time.
Symptoms of an overdose include obesity (especially around the stomach); a round face; increased hair growth (especially around the face); acne; bruising; increased blood pressure; swollen hands, feet, or ankles (fluid retention); and sore or weak muscles.

What should I avoid while taking prednisone?
Avoid alcohol. Acting together, alcohol and prednisone can be damaging to the stomach.
Avoid sources of infection. Wash your hands frequently and keep them away from the mouth and eyes. Your immune system may be weakened while taking prednisone.
Do not receive any immunizations during treatment with prednisone without first talking to your doctor.

What are the possible side effects of prednisone?

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking prednisone and seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately:
  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
  • increased blood pressure (severe headache or blurred vision); or
  • sudden weight gain (more than 5 pounds in a day or two).
Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take prednisone and talk to your doctor if you experience
  • insomnia;
  • nausea, vomiting, or stomach upset;
  • fatigue or dizziness;
  • muscle weakness or joint pain;
  • problems with diabetes control; or
  • increased hunger or thirst.
Other side effects that occur only rarely, usually with high doses of prednisone, include
  • acne,
  • increased hair growth,
  • thinning of the skin,
  • cataracts,
  • glaucoma,
  • osteoporosis,
  • roundness of the face, and
  • changes in behavior.
Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect prednisone?
Do not take any other over-the-counter or prescription medications, including herbal products, during treatment with prednisone without first talking to your doctor. Many other medicines can interact with prednisone resulting in side effects or altered effectiveness of the medications.

Where can I get more information?
Your pharmacist has addition information written for health professionals about prednisone that you may read.

What does my medication look like?
Prednisone is available in many brand and generic formulations. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise.

Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides.

The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.


Substantial effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Epocrates is accurate and up-to-date, but this information is not intended to cover all possible uses, precautions, or other considerations relating to the therapies covered. Epocrates does not advocate or endorse the use of any drug or other therapy and does not diagnose patients. Healthcare professionals should use their professional judgment in using this information, and this information should not be considered a substitute for the care and professional judgment provided by a licensed healthcare practitioner. This information if provided on an "as is" basis, and Epocrates and its affiliates, agents and licensors assume no responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of this information or any other use of the information.
©  Epocrates, Inc., All Rights Reserved.
Epocrates Rx Online™ is a trademark of Epocrates Inc, in the U.S. and elsewhere.
This site is developped by Massoud Bina, M.D. and Morteza Bina, Ph.D. All rights reserved. Copyright ©2005. Site Administrator: morteza@massoudbina.com