PREDNISONE (PRED ni sone) treats many conditions such as asthma, allergic reactions, arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases, adrenal, and blood or bone marrow disorders. It works by decreasing inflammation, slowing down an overactive immune system, or replacing cortisol normally made in the body. Cortisol is a hormone that plays an important role in how the body responds to stress, illness, and injury. It belongs to a group of medications called steroids.
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
High blood pressure
Infection (especially a virus infection such as chickenpox, cold sores, or herpes)
Stomach or intestine problems
An unusual or allergic reaction to lactose, prednisone, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
Take this medication by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take this medication with food. If you are taking this medication once a day, take it in the morning. Do not take more medication than you are told to take. Do not suddenly stop taking your medication because you may develop a severe reaction. Your care team will tell you how much medication to take. If your care team wants you to stop the medication, the dose may be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, talk to your care team. You may need to miss a dose or take an extra dose. Do not take double or extra doses without advice.
What may interact with this medication?
Do not take this medication with any of the following:
This medication may also interact with the following:
Aspirin and aspirin-like medications
Certain medications for diabetes, like glipizide or glyburide
Female hormones, like estrogens and birth control pills
NSAIDS, medications for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
Cushing syndrome—increased fat around the midsection, upper back, neck, or face, pink or purple stretch marks on the skin, thinning, fragile skin that easily bruises, unexpected hair growth
High blood sugar (hyperglycemia)—increased thirst or amount of urine, unusual weakness or fatigue, blurry vision
Increase in blood pressure
Infection—fever, chills, cough, sore throat, wounds that don't heal, pain or trouble when passing urine, general feeling of discomfort or being unwell
Low adrenal gland function—nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, unusual weakness or fatigue, dizziness
Mood and behavior changes—anxiety, nervousness, confusion, hallucinations, irritability, hostility, thoughts of suicide or self-harm, worsening mood, feelings of depression
Stomach bleeding—bloody or black, tar-like stools, vomiting blood or brown material that looks like coffee grounds
Swelling of the ankles, hands, or feet
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
General discomfort and fatigue
Increase in appetite
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress. If you are taking this medication over a prolonged period, carry an identification card with your name and address, the type and dose of your medication, and your care team's name and address.
This medication may increase your risk of getting an infection. Tell your care team if you are around anyone with measles or chickenpox, or if you develop sores or blisters that do not heal properly.
If you are going to have surgery, tell your care team that you have taken this medication within the last twelve months.
Ask your care team about your diet. You may need to lower the amount of salt you eat.
This medication may increase blood sugar. Ask your care team if changes in diet or medications are needed if you have diabetes.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Protect from light. Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medication after the expiration date.
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
This information is educational only and should not be construed as specific instructions for individual patients nor as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist about the information and instructions. K Health assumes no liability for any use or reliance on this information.