Jul 15, 2021

What You Need to Know About Prednisone

What is Prednisone? 

Prednisone is a steroid used along with other medications in the treatment of inflammatory diseases like multiple sclerosis. Prednisone is commonly referred to as the synthetic form of the naturally occurring steroid hormone, or as a synthetic glucocorticoid. It is very similar to our body’s corticosteroid hormone that is produced by the adrenal glands. Prednisone is able to mimic the effect of glucocorticoid hormones found in our body in charge of our response to stress and inflammation.

If you or someone you know is fighting a condition that involves swelling or inflammation and was prescribed prednisone, continue reading below to learn everything you need to know about this medication.   

How Does Prednisone Work?

Steroid drugs such as prednisone work by suppressing our immune system’s response, which results in a reduction of inflammation and immune system activity. Inflammation in the body can be an immune-related symptom that comes from your body’s response to stress or injury. Prednisone is used as an immunosuppressant to help control inflammation created when our bodies are under stress, whether it is a form of physical stress such as injury or trauma to the body or stress that stems from surgery or illness.

It remains one of the highest anti-inflammatory drugs available, making it a go-to alternative when treating inflammatory, autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. 

What Is Prednisone Used for?

Prednisone is used in the treatment of a variety of inflammatory conditions; this medication is not restricted or limited to one specific condition.

As briefly stated above, it works by reducing inflammation and suppressing the body’s reaction to stress, making it helpful in the treatment of conditions like:

  • Hormonal disorders

  • Skin diseases

  • Arthritis

  • Lupus

  • Ulcerative colitis

  • Crohn’s disease

  • Multiple sclerosis

  • Allergic conditions

Our immune system is our line of defense against disease. The immunosuppressant properties of steroid medication can lead to a weakened immune system, which makes it easier to catch an infection. Therefore, this medication should be avoided if you currently have an underlying infection, such as a fungal infection as it can make it harder to fight it. Always consult with your doctor when using this medication for a prolonged period of time.

How Long Does It Take for Prednisone to Work?

Prednisone usually begins to take effect in the body within 1 to 2 hours. How long the medication will take to start taking effect for you will depend on your body’s ability to metabolize the medication. Once you stop taking the medication, it does not take too long for the drug to leave your system. As stopping prednisone can lead to withdrawal, it is important that you taper off the medication gradually to prevent withdrawal as well as prevent your inflammation from returning.

How Is Prednisone Taken?

It is essential that you first consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new prescription medication. Also, always be sure to carefully follow the recommendations of your health care provider, use the medication as instructed and as per the directions on the prescription label.

Your doctor will determine the best dosage for you depending on a variety of factors, including the condition the drug is intended to treat, your tolerance levels, any other medications you are taking, etc. 

Prednisone is usually taken orally with food or milk to avoid an upset stomach and is typically taken one to four times a day. Prednisone should be taken at approximately the same times every day, and should never be stopped without your doctor’s consultation. 

This medication is best taken in the morning with breakfast. The morning is the time of day in which our bodies naturally produce cortisone, and is therefore the best time to take the medication in order for the drug to mimic our own bodies’ cortisone production. When taken too late in the day, prednisone can sometimes cause sleepiness or insomnia.

This product is available as:

  • Tablets

  • A solution (liquid)

  • Delayed-release tablet

  • Concentrated solution

When taking the concentrated solution, it is important to take the exact dose recommended by your doctor. This is why the marked dropper that comes with the medication should always be used to measure the amount to be taken. If you are taking the delayed-release tablet, make sure to swallow the tablet whole and never crush it or cut it in half.

Things to Keep In Mind While on Prednisone

For best results:

  • Avoid taking prednisone on an empty stomach.

  • If possible, try not to lay down for a few hours after a dose of prednisone to avoid symptoms of heartburn.

  • Try to avoid being around others who are sick as it can lower your immune response to disease.

  • Try to limit consumption of sugar and simple carbohydrates as the medication can possibly raise blood sugar levels.

Always consult with your doctor if you experience any side effects from the medication . For more information or concerns, make sure to consult with your doctor or ask your pharmacists about your prednisone prescription.

Prednisone may be the solution treatment for you or someone you know who is suffering from an inflammatory condition. At CareCard, it is our mission to help make your prescription payments more affordable, saving members up to 85% on prescription drugs and medications. You can search for a Prednisone coupon here and learn how CareCard can help make your medication payments more manageable.

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