Prednisone is an essential prescription drug. It is widely used to reduce different types of inflammations. Read on to learn more about its mechanism of action, indications, dosage, and potential side effects
Prednisone — A Golden Standard of Anti-Inflammatory Medications
Prednisone is one of the most widely utilized drugs in the current medical paradigm. Although it was patented in 1954, it still holds a high position among the top-50 most popular medications in the United States. For instance, it was the 27th most commonly prescribed drug in the US in 2019. It is rightfully considered one of the most multipurpose drugs in the current pharmaceutics market. Suffice to say that it is efficient in the treatment of such dissimilar deceases as, for instance, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, or allergic reactions. How is it possible for a single preparation to treat so many different conditions? Well, it deals with the most fundamental metabolic pathways in the human body.
How Does It Affect Your BodyThis medication belongs to a class of steroid hormones called glucocorticoids. These chemicals play a major role in the maintenance of many important processes in the human body. The most significant of such processes is inflammation. These steroids bind to certain receptors, activating glucocorticoid molecular structures. Such molecular machines regulate the expression of proteins, which regulate inflammation. The medication enhances the production of anti-inflammatory proteins and reduces the expression of pro-inflammatory ones. This feature makes Prednisone one of the most useful agents in the treatment of so many diverse diseases. Asthma, allergic reactions, lupus, and dermatitis — all these conditions have one common feature: inflammation. This drug takes care of it, reducing the symptoms and suppressing the immune system. It is also very efficient in the treatment of autoimmune illnesses.
How to Take It
Before taking it, you should consider several warnings. The drug directly influences the immune system, reducing its effectiveness. This means that it weakens your defense against all incoming harmful agents, such as viruses and bacteria. Because of this unfortunate feature, you should inform your therapist about all diseases that you have suffered from several months before the therapy. Long-term therapy with the drug may also affect the metabolism of calcium, leading to osteoporosis. Your therapist should warn you about risk factors, which may enhance bone loss, including smoking, low income of vitamin D, etc. As for the daily dose, it should be determined by your therapist. Different medical conditions require respectfully different dosages. The general advice on taking the medication is given below:
- Take the drug with food to prevent an upset stomach.
- Do not chew the pills. Swallow the tablet whole.
- Take it regularly, following the provided schedule.
- Store the pills at room temperature. Protect the pills from moisture and light.
How Can It Harm Your BodyMost of its side effects are mild. Usually, they disappear within days of treatment. When taking the medication you may experience the following side effects:
- Mood changes.
- Weight gain.
- Increased sweating.
- Blurred vision, eye pain.
- Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing.
- Depression, rapid mood changes, seizures.
- Acute abdominal pain.
- Symptoms of low potassium, such as confusion, extreme thirstiness, weakness, and uneven heart rate.
- High blood pressure.