Prednisone – Mechanism and Side Effects
Prednisone is corticosteroid, in the form of syrup, tablets, creams or injections. Many different medical conditions are treated with prednisone, including: arthritis, pneumonia, systemic lupus erythematosus lymphoma, etc.
It works in the same way as other corticosteroids, preventing the prostaglandins production. Prostaglandins are produced in the body after some trauma or injury, and because of them the body gets inflamed or experiences different allergic reactions. Corticosteroids affect the body in one more way – they interfere with other systems in the body and that’s why they cause side effects.
Prednisone is used to treat autoimmune disorders, serious allergic reactions and severe inflammatory reactions of the body. Most commonly this medication is used to treat: arthritis, allergic reactions to poison ivy, shellfish or mold, but also scleroderma, MS (multiple sclerosis) and inflammatory myopathies.
The prednisone dose depends on a person and treated condition. It is different treatment if there is an inflammation or immune reaction of the body. Seriousness of the infection is also important when deciding the dose of corticosteroids.
Prednisone could cause both short term and long term adverse effects. The most common side effect that this medication can cause is weight gain. Prednisone affects the accumulation of fat in the body and at the same time it causes fluid retention, leading to changed body shape and weight.
This drug is also commonly causing skin problems, such as acne. Steroid acne usually affect the face, but they might also progress to your back and arms.
Prednisone can affect your eyes and cause glaucoma or cataract, and this condition could stay permanently, even if you stopped using corticosteroids.
This drug is also known to cause sleeping problems and to increase the risk of many different infections, both internal and external.
Withdrawal Effects of Prednisone
This medication should not be stopped suddenly, for it may cause withdrawal effects. Doctors always recommend decreasing the dose gradually. Symptoms can become worse if you abruptly stop the prednisone treatment after using it for a long time.
Patients experiencing prednisone withdrawal usually complain about weakness, tiredness, abdominal pains and rapid weight loss. Extreme tiredness and muscle weakness are the most common withdrawal effects, caused by the sudden and extreme weight loss. These people can sometimes stay undiagnosed, since the withdrawal symptoms are not specific just for prednisone withdrawal. When suffering from abrupt withdrawal patients might also experience: hypotension (low blood pressure), pain in the joints and menstrual problems.