Prednisone is used for many different autoimmune diseases and inflammatory conditions, including: asthma, COPD, CIDP, rheumatic disorders, allergic disorders, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, adrenocortical insufficiency, hypercalcemia due to cancer, thyroiditis, laryngitis, severe tuberculosis, urticaria (hives), lipid pneumonitis, pericarditis, multiple sclerosis, nephrotic syndrome, sarcoidosis, to relieve the effects of shingles, lupus, myasthenia gravis, poison oak exposure, Ménière's disease, autoimmune hepatitis, giant-cell arteritis, the Herxheimer reaction that is common during the treatment of syphilis, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, uveitis, and as part of a drug regimen to prevent rejection after organ transplant. It is important in the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphomas, Hodgkin's lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and other hormone-sensitive tumors, in combination with other anticancer drugs. Prednisone can be used in the treatment of decompensated heart failure to increase renal responsiveness to diuretics, especially in heart failure patients with refractory diuretic resistance with large dose of loop diuretics. In terms of the mechanism of action for this purpose: prednisone, a glucocorticoid, can improve renal responsiveness to atrial natriuretic peptide by increasing the density of natriuretic peptide receptor type A in the renal inner medullary collecting duct, inducing a potent diuresis. Short-term side effects, as with all glucocorticoids, include high blood glucose levels (especially in patients with diabetes mellitus or on other medications that increase blood glucose, such as tacrolimus) and mineralocorticoid effects such as fluid retention. The mineralocorticoid effects of prednisone are minor, which is why it is not used in the management of adrenal insufficiency, unless a more potent mineralocorticoid is administered concomitantly. It can also cause depression or depressive symptoms and anxiety in some individuals. Prednisone is a potent corticosteroid drug used to treat inflammatory forms of arthritis as well as some types of cancer and autoimmune disease. It's available in tablet and liquid formulations and functions as an immunosuppressant, tempering inflammation by blunting the immune response. Inflammation is the body's natural response to anything it considers harmful. When the immune system identifies a harmful agent, it releases chemicals into the bloodstream which cause tissues to swell, in part to increase the size of blood vessels and allow larger immune cells closer access to the site of an injury or infection. With certain autoimmune disorders, the immune response is abnormal and excessive. Such is the case with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a condition where the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy joints. Acute RA symptoms often flares without notice, causing increased pain, swelling, and injury to the affected joint.
People with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who are prescribed corticosteroids such as prednisone often have questions and concerns about them. And it’s not hard to see why: These medications come with a long list of side effects, ranging from insomnia and weight gain to high blood sugar and thinning bones. But when corticosteroids like prednisone are judiciously in the right patients, these drugs can be safe and effective, according to Anthan Tiliakos, DO, an assistant professor in the division of rheumatology at Emory Healthcare in Atlanta. “There is some controversy in rheumatology about the use of drugs like prednisone, and some doctors believe they have no place in the treatment of RA,” he says. “I’m of the opinion that it can be an excellent medication in certain circumstances.” To help improve the understanding of how prednisone — and other corticosteroids such as dexamethasone and methylprednisolone — can help control rheumatoid arthritis, we asked Dr. Tiliakos to answer some of the most common questions and concerns patients have about the drug. Corticosteroids, or steroids, are a type of steroid hormone used to treat many types of conditions besides RA, such as asthma, Crohn’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. Prednisone is a type of corticosteroid that is often prescribed by doctors to treat many inflammatory conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In some cases, people find that taking prednisone can lead to weight gain. For those that are underweight because of their health it can be helpful, but for others, it can present another problem with which to cope. The adrenal glands produce a natural form of steroid called cortisol. Cortisol has an important role in the body and works to regulate metabolism, immune function, inflammation, and response to stress and injury. Prednisone is a synthetic steroid similar to cortisol that, when prescribed at higher doses, helps to manage the symptoms of inflammatory diseases like IBD. While prednisone is often helpful in getting the inflammation under control quickly, it may come with side effects.
Prednisone is used to treat allergic disorders, ulcerative colitis, psoriasis and arthritis. Learn about side effects, interactions and indications. NHS medicines information on prednisolone – what it's used for, side effects, dosage and who can take it.