Our expert says:
Prednisone's ability to reduce the body's inflammatory response to various conditions and diseases has made it a valued means of controlling a variety of medical conditions. Inyour case its effective in supressing the immune system.
It is relatively inexpensive and fast acting for an oral medication. However, its major drawback has been the numerous and serious side effects.
Due to the fact that prednisone is an oral medication, it's distributed to and effects every part of the body, not just the desired point of action. This is a big factor, along with its hormonal nature, in why Prednisone's side effects are so pervasive, serious, and numerous.
Side effects occurs both with short-term and long-term use. Most side effects encountered with short-term use begin to lessen with diminished dosage and disappear with the end of Prednisone use.
Weight gain is one of the first side effects due to two reasons. Prednisone increases appetite and causes fluid retention. A careful diet and schedule for meals can help control appetite. If you just eat whenever you want, you'll be eating all the time. Fluid retention is more complicated and needs to watched carefully and closely monitored by a physician.
Other early side effects are mood changes and insomnia. Scheduling your prednisone dosage for early morning and/or at least 3 hours before bedtime can help.
Upset stomach is another side effect. Prednisone tends to increase stomach acids, taking Prednisone with meals helps prevent this. Prednisone should not be taken on an empty stomach. There is also the danger of ulcers due to this side effect.
Prednisone's ability to decrease inflammation by decreasing the immune response also results in an impaired response to infection. This make you more prone to develop infections. Contact with infected individuals should be avoided. Any signs of infection should be reported to your physician immediately.
Hyperglycemia (increased blood sugar) and Hypertension (increased blood pressure) are possible and should be monitored. These should be treated by your physician is they occur.
Some of the long-term side effects include:
Osteoporosis, a loss of calcium in the bones, which can make bones more brittle and more susceptible to breaks. This can be treated with calcium supplements and diet.
Occasionally patients will develop cataracts.
Changes in capillary walls can result in skin bruising from relatively minor impacts.
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