What is Prednisone?
Prednisone belongs to a class of drugs known as corticosteroids; these medications reduce inflammation throughout the body that is a result of any number of medical conditions. These therapeutic agents are among the most important medical products used by modern medicine today. In fact, the discovery of cortisone in 1948 marked a new era in medical treatment owing to its potent anti-inflammatory activity.
It is generally considered safe in both children and adults and comes in tablet, liquid and injectable forms and under brand names such as Deltasone and Sterapred.
Why is prednisone prescribed?
Since prednisone is used to reduce inflammation throughout the body, its uses are nearly endless. Some of the most common uses for prednisone are allergies, skin conditions, lupus, psoriasis, breathing conditions and ulcerative colitis. Certain skin conditions, psoriasis and lupus are lifelong diseases; therefore the use of prednisone may be constant or intermittent. Patients taking prednisone for these conditions should have regular examinations by a physician in order to avoid complications and side effects.
Short-term treatment with prednisone often has no major side effects; any weight gain or changes in appetite usually resolve on their own within a few days.
Prednisone is also prescribed to treat conditions that are caused by abnormal hormone production or deficient corticosteroid levels. It can also be used as an adjunctive treatment for people with normal corticosteroid levels. Recently, prednisone has been effectively used for the treatment of certain types of cancers. Generally, the desired physiologic effect of prednisone is to mitigate the inflammatory process and to change the way the immune system works.
Do I need prescription for prednisone?
Yes. Prednisone is a prescription medicine. It is available as a tablet or a solution and is taken by mouth. It is normally taken with food one to four times a day, depending on the prescription of the doctor. Prednisone comes in different formulations and taken at certain times of the day. Its more common oral doses include 1 mg, 1.5 mg, 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg and 50 mg. As with most medications, patients are prescribed the lowest dose that relieves symptoms in order to reduce the likelihood of experiencing the side effects of prednisone. Prednisone can be used either short-term or long-term, depending on the nature of the illness.
Since prednisone is a highly potent drug that plays various physiologic effects on the body, it requires close supervision of a healthcare provider. Make sure that you read the prescription and label carefully, and follow the directions. Often, the dose is adjusted according to the patient’s response to the treatment. To avoid adverse effects of prednisone, you must strictly follow the physician’s advice.
Although it is mostly available in its generic form, there are some brands which include the following:
- Liquid Pred
Some of the manufacturers of generic tablets and solutions include:
- Cadista Pharmaceutical Co., Inc.
- Cardinal Health
- IVAX Pharmaceuticals
- Perrigo Rx
- Qualitest Pharmaceuticals
- Watson Pharmaceuticals