Prednisone belongs to corticosteroid medications and is given to patients who are suffering from a variety of medical conditions. This medication is in majority of patients given in larges doses in the beginning and then the dose is reduced to certain level which can keep the disease under control. These low doses can be maintained for longer period of time. Still prolonged usage of Prednisone carries significant risk of certain complications and the drug itself has numerous side effects. Once, the doctor has decided to discontinue the medication he/ she must do it rather carefully and gradually since sudden interruption of the therapy can cause serious complications.
Prednisone like other corticosteroids affects the function of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are specific substances which are responsible for numerous effects which occur due to trauma. They are, therefore, included in the process of inflammation. The final effect of corticosteroids is reduction of the inflammation and resulting reduction in damage of the affected organs.
Side Effects of Prednisone
All the side effects of this medication can be classified into short-term and long-term.
People who take these medications for longer period of time almost always gain weight. The reason for weight gain is retention of water. Still people become obese because fat tends to accumulate especially in particular parts of the body. The fat deposits affect the back, abdomen and face.
Skin changes include acne. They are localized on the face, arms and back. Still in many patients the first spot covered with acne is the chest.
Immunosupresion caused by Prednisone makes people more susceptible to infections.
Another side effect is related to increase of the pressure in side the eyes. This can in predisposed people cause the onset of glaucoma.
And finally, insomnia is another common side effect of this medication.
Prednisone Withdrawal Symptoms
Prednisone withdrawal symptoms most commonly occur in people who have been under therapy for longer period of time and if the drug is abruptly stopped.
Common symptoms include weakness and headache. The weakness can be mild, moderate or rather severe. Additionally, nausea occurs in majority of cases. Nausea is serious symptoms of Prednisone withdrawal.
Patients also suffer from abdominal pain. The pain can also affect joints, which especially occurs in people who are already suffering from arthritis.
The weigh loss is not sudden but gradual. The blood pressure may suddenly drop and one may feel lightheadedness or even faint.
Women may notice changes in menstrual cycle.
These symptoms can be successfully prevented if the drug is discontinued gradually. Most doctors do that and patients should not worry at all.