Prednisone is a corticosteroid drug. Prednisone is commonly used as an anti-inflammatory to reduce swelling, redness, and itching in conditions that the immune system plays a role in such as arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, and various rashes caused by allergies. Prednisone is also used for other conditions which require the replacement of the corticosteroids that our body normally produces.
Prednisone dosages will vary based on the condition. Prednisone can be administered by injection, orally, or in liquid form. The regimen for this particular drug is strict and should be followed exactly as prescribed. As with most medications, Prednisone is not without side effects which may be temporary or long term.
There may be multiple gastrointestinal disturbances which include vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. There are several major side effects of prednisone which required medical attention such as black colored stool, abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea.
One of the more serious side effects is that of the destruction of the intestinal flora, which can cause intestinal infections. "Clostridium Difficile" is a serious infection of the intestines that occurs when the natural flora is destroyed. The first symptom of C-Diff is usually diarrhea with an extremely foul odor. This condition is serious and can be life threatening. The only way to determine whether or not C-Diff is present, is through laboratory testing.
Diabetics should be monitored closely. High glucose levels can occur while taking prednisone. In many cases, non-diabetics may be required to monitor their glucose levels as well. Prednisone, in combination with other medications that also affect glucose levels, may require the temporary use of insulin for non-diabetics.
Edema or swelling of the body, fluid retention, and weight gain are among the most common side effects of prednisone. Other minor side effects include insomnia, anxiety, and leg cramps. The majority of symptoms that occur while taking prednisone will subside once the medication is no longer used.
Prednisone is a tapering drug. The patient will be weaned from it by slowly decreasing the dosage according to a prescribed schedule. If a patient stops taking prednisone abruptly, the effects may appear to be normal side effects. In reality, abruptly stopping the use of prednisone and the effect that is has on the body, can very well lead to a life threatening situation.
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