prednisone, Deltasone, Liquid Pred
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:
GENERIC NAME: prednisone
BRAND NAME: Deltasone, Orasone, Prednicen-M, Liquid Pred
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Prednisone is an oral, synthetic (man-made) corticosteroid used for suppressing the immune system and inflammation. It has effects similar to other corticosteroids such as triamcinolone (Kenacort), methylprednisolone (Medrol), prednisolone (Prelone) and dexamethasone (Decadron). These synthetic corticosteroids mimic the action of cortisol (hydrocortisone), the naturally-occurring corticosteroid produced in the body by the adrenal glands. Corticosteroids have many effects on the body, but they most often are used for their potent anti-inflammatory effects, particularly in those conditions in which the immune system plays an important role. Such conditions include arthritis, colitis, asthma, bronchitis, certain skin rashes, and allergic or inflammatory conditions of the nose and eyes. Prednisone is inactive in the body and, in order to be effective, first must be converted to prednisolone by enzymes in the liver. Therefore, prednisone may not work as effectively in people with liver disease whose ability to convert prednisone to prednisolone is impaired
GENERIC AVAILABLE: yes
PREPARATIONS: Tablets of 2.5, 5, 10, 20, and 50 mg. Oral solution or syrup of 5mg/5ml
STORAGE: Store at room temperature 20-25°C (68-77°F), and keep away from moisture.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Prednisone is used in the management of inflammatory conditions or diseases in which the immune system plays an important role. Since prednisone is used in so many conditions, only the most common or established uses are mentioned here. Prednisone most often is used for treating several types of arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, systemic lupus, allergic reactions, asthma and severe psoriasis. It also is used for treating leukemias, lymphomas, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura and autoimmune hemolytic anemia. Corticosteroids, including prednisone, are commonly used to suppress the immune system and prevent the body from rejecting transplanted organs. Prednisone is used as replacement therapy in patients whose adrenal glands are unable to produce sufficient amounts of cortisol.
DOSING: The initial dose of prednisone varies depending on the condition being treated and the age of the patient. The starting dose may be from 5 to 60 mg per day and often is adjusted based on the response of the condition being treated. Corticosteroids typically do not produce immediate effects and must be used for several days before maximal effects are seen. It may take much longer before conditions respond to treatment. Prolonged therapy with prednisone causes the adrenal glands to atrophy and stop producing cortisol. When prednisone is discontinued after a period of prolonged therapy, the dose of prednisone must be tapered (lowered gradually) to allow the adrenal glands time to recover. (See side effects.) It is recommended that prednisone be taken with food.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Prednisone may interact with estrogens and phenytoin (Dilantin). Estrogens may reduce the action of enzymes in the liver that break down (eliminate) the active form of prednisone, prednisolone. As a result, the levels of prednisolone in the body may increase and lead to more frequent side effects. Phenytoin increases the activity of enzymes in the liver that break down (eliminate) prednisone and thereby may reduce the effectiveness of prednisone. Thus, if phenytoin is being taken, an increased dose of prednisone may be required.
PREGNANCY: Corticosteroids cross the placenta into the fetus. Compared to other corticosteroids, however, prednisone is less likely to cross the placenta. Chronic use of corticosteroids during the first trimester of pregnancy may cause cleft palate.
NURSING MOTHERS: Corticosteroids are secreted in breast milk and can cause side effects in the nursing infant. Prednisone is less likely than other corticosteroids to be secreted in breast milk, but it may still pose a risk to the infant.
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