(prednisone) Tablets, USP
DELTASONE Tablets contain prednisone which is a glucocorticoid. Glucocorticoids
are adrenocortical steroids, both naturally occurring and synthetic, which are
readily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. Prednisone is a white to practically
white, odorless, crystalline powder. It is very slightly soluble in water; slightly
soluble in alcohol, in chloroform, in dioxane, and in methanol.
The chemical name for prednisone is pregna-1,4-diene-3,11,20-trione, 17,21-dihydroxy-
and its molecular weight is 358.43.
The structural formula is represented below:
DELTASONE (prednisone) Tablets are available in 5 strengths: 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg and 50 mg. Inactive ingredients: 2.5 mg-Calcium Stearate, Corn Starch, Erythrosine Sodium, Lactose, Mineral Oil, Sorbic Acid and Sucrose. 5 mg- Calcium Stearate, Corn Starch, Lactose, Mineral Oil, Sorbic Acid and Sucrose. 10 mg-Calcium Stearate, Corn Starch, Lactose, Sorbic Acid and Sucrose. 20 mg-Calcium Stearate, Corn Starch, FD&C Yellow No. 6, Lactose, Sorbic Acid and Sucrose. 50 mg-Corn Starch, Lactose, Magnesium Stearate, Sorbic Acid, Sucrose, and Talc.
DELTASONE (prednisone) Tablets are indicated in the following conditions:
- Endocrine Disorders
Primary or secondary adrenocortical insufficiency
(hydrocortisone or cortisone is the first choice; synthetic analogs may be used in conjunction with mineralocorticoids where applicable; in infancy mineralocorticoid supplementation is of particular importance)
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
Hypercalcernia associated with cancer
- Rheumatic Disorders
As adjunctive therapy for short-term administration
(to tide the patient over an acute episode or exacerbation) in:
Rheumatoid arthritis, including juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
(selected cases may require low-dose maintenance therapy)
Acute and subacute bursitis
Acute nonspecific tenosynovitis
Acute gouty arthritis
Synovitis of osteoarthritis
- Collagen Diseases
During an exacerbation or as maintenance therapy in selected cases of:
Systemic lupus erythematosus
Acute rheumatic carditis
- Dermatologic Diseases
Bullous dermatitis herpetiformis
Severe erythema multiforme
Severe seborrheic dermatitis
- Allergic States
Control of severe or incapacitating allergic conditions intractable to adequate trials of conventional treatment:
Seasonal or perennial allergic rhinitis
Drug hypersensitivity reactions
- Ophthalmic Diseases
Severe acute and chronic allergic and inflammatory processes involving the eye and its adnexa such as:
Allergic cornea marginal ulcers
Herpes zoster ophthalmicus
Anterior segment inflammation
Diffuse posterior uveitis and choroiditis
Iritis and iridocyclitis
- Respiratory Diseases
Loeffler's syndrome not manageable by other means
Fulminating or disseminated pulmonary tuberculosis when used concurrently with appropriate antituberculous chemotherapy
- Hematologic Disorders
Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura in adults
Secondary thrombocytopenia in adults
Acquired (autoimmune) hemolytic anemia
Erythroblastopenia (RBC anemia)
Congenital (erythroid) hypoplastic anemia
- Neoplastic Diseases For palliative management of:
Leukemias and lymphomas in adults
Acute leukemia of childhood
- Edematous States
To induce a diuresis or remission of proteinuria in the nephrotic syndrome, without uremia, of the idiopathic type or that due to lupus erythematosus
- Gastrointestinal Diseases
To tide the patient over a critical period of the disease in:
- Nervous System
Acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis
Tuberculous meningitis with subarachnoid block or impending block when used concurrently with appropriate antituberculous chemotherapy
Trichinosis with neurologic or myocardial involvement
DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION
The initial dosage of DELTASONE Tablets may vary from 5 mg to 60 mg of prednisone per day depending on the specific disease entity being treated. In situations of less severity lower doses will generally suffice while in selected patients higher initial doses may be required. The initial dosage should be maintained or adjusted until a satisfactory response is noted. If after a reasonable period of time there is a lack of satisfactory clinical response, DELTASONE (prednisone) should be discontinued and the patient transferred to other appropriate therapy. IT SHOULD BE EMPHASIZED THAT DOSAGE REQUIREMENTS ARE VARIABLE AND MUST BE INDIVIDUALIZED ON THE BASIS OF THE DISEASE UNDER TREATMENT AND THE RESPONSE OF THE PATIENT. After a favorable response is noted, the proper maintenance dosage should be determined by decreasing the initial drug dosage in small decrements at appropriate time intervals until the lowest dosage which will maintain an adequate clinical response is reached. It should be kept in mind that constant monitoring is needed in regard to drug dosage. Included in the situations which may make dosage adjustments necessary are changes in clinical status secondary to remissions or exacerbations in the disease process, the patient's individual drug responsiveness, and the effect of patient exposure to stressful situations not directly related to the disease entity under treatment; in this latter situation it may be necessary to increase the dosage of DELTASONE (prednisone) for a period of time consistent with the patient's condition. If after long-term therapy the drug is to be stopped, it is recommended that it be withdrawn gradually rather than abruptly.
In the treatment of acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis daily doses of 200 mg of prednisolone for a week followed by 80 mg every other day for 1 month have been shown to be effective. (Dosage range is the same for prednisone and prednisolone.)
ADT® (Alternate Day Therapy)
ADT is a corticosteroid dosing regimen in which twice the usual daily dose
of corticoid is administered every other morning. The purpose of this mode of
therapy is to provide the patient requiring long-term pharmacologic dose treatment
with the beneficial effects of corticoids while minimizing certain undesirable
effects, including pituitary-adrenal suppression, the Cushingoid state, corticoid
withdrawal symptoms, and growth suppression in children.
The rationale for this treatment schedule is based on two major premises: (a)
the anti-inflammatory or therapeutic effect of corticoids persists longer than
their physical presence and metabolic effects and (b) administration of the
corticosteroid every other morning allows for re-establishment of more nearly
normal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity on the off-steroid day.
A brief review of the HPA physiology may be helpful in understanding this rationale.
Acting primarily through the hypothalamus a fall in free cortisol stimulates
the pituitary gland to produce increasing amounts of corticotropin (ACTH) while
a rise in free cortisol inhibits ACTH secretion. Normally the HPA system is
characterized by diurnal (circadian) rhythm. Serum levels of ACTH rise from
a low point about 10 pm to a peak level about 6 am. Increasing levels of ACTH
stimulate adrenocortical activity resulting in a rise in plasma cortisol with
maximal levels occurring between 2 am and 8 am. This rise in cortisol dampens
ACTH production and in turn adrenocortical activity. There is a gradual fall
in plasma corticoids during the day with lowest levels occurring about midnight.
The diurnal rhythm of the HPA axis is lost in Cushing's disease, a syndrome of adrenocortical hyperfunction characterized by obesity with centripetal fat distribution, thinning of the skin with easy bruisability, muscle wasting with weakness, hypertension, latent diabetes, osteoporosis, electrolyte imbalance, etc. The same clinical findings of hyperadrenocorticism may be noted during long-term pharmacologic dose corticoid therapy administered in conventional daily-divided doses. It would appear, then, that a disturbance in the diurnal cycle with maintenance of elevated corticoid values during the night may play a significant role in the development of undesirable corticoid effects. Escape from these constantly elevated plasma levels for even short periods of time may be instrumental in protecting against undesirable pharmacologic effects.
During conventional pharmacologic dose corticosteroid therapy, ACTH production
is inhibited with subsequent suppression of cortisol production by the adrenal
cortex. Recovery time for normal HPA activity is variable depending upon the
dose and duration of treatment. During this time the patient is vulnerable to
any stressful situation. Although it has been shown that there is considerably
less adrenal suppression following a single morning dose of prednisolone (10
mg) as opposed to a quarter of that dose administered every 6 hours, there is
evidence that some suppressive effect on adrenal activity may be carried over
into the following day when pharmacologic doses are used. Further, it has been
shown that a single dose of certain corticosteroids will produce adrenocortical
suppression for two or more days. Other corticoids, including rnethylprednisolone,
hydrocortisone, pednisone and prednisolone, are considered to be short acting
(producing adrenocortical suppression for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 days following a single
dose) and thus are recommended for alternate day therapy.
The following should be kept in mind when considering alternate day therapy:
- Basic principles and indications for corticosteroid therapy should apply. The benefits of ADT should not encourage the indiscriminate use of steroids.
- ADT is a therapeutic technique primarily designed for patients in whom long-term pharmacologic corticoid therapy is anticipated.
- In less severe disease processes in which corticoid therapy is indicated,
it may be possible to initiate treatment with ADT. More severe disease states
usually will require daily divided high dose therapy for initial control of
the disease process. The initial suppressive dose level should be continued
until satisfactory clinical response is obtained, usually four to ten days
in the case of many allergic and collagen diseases. It is important to keep
the period of initial suppressive dose as brief as possible particularly when
subsequent use of alternate day therapy is intended.
Once control has been established, two courses are available: (a) change to ADT and then gradually reduce the amount of corticoid given every other day or (b) following control of the disease process reduce the daily dose of corticoid to the lowest effective level as rapidly as possible and then change over to an alternate day schedule. Theoretically, course (a) may be preferable.
- Because of the advantages of ADT, it may be desirable to try patients on
this form of therapy who have been on daily corticoids for long periods of
time (eg, patients with rheumatoid arthritis). Since these patients may already
have a suppressed HPA axis, establishing them on ADT may be difficult and
not always successful. However, it is recommended that regular attempts be
made to change them over. It may be helpful to triple or even quadruple the
daily maintenance dose and administer this every other day rather than just
doubling the daily dose if difficulty is encountered. Once the patient is
again controlled, an attempt should be made to reduce this dose to a minimum.
- As indicated above, certain corticosteroids, because of their prolonged
suppressive effect on adrenal activity, are not recommended for alternate
day therapy (eg, dexamethasone and betamethasone).
- The maximal activity of the adrenal cortex is between 2 am and 8 am, and it is minimal between 4 pm and midnight. Exogenous corticosteroids suppress adrenocortical activity the least, when given at the time of maximal activity (am).
- In using ADT it is important, as in all therapeutic situations to individualize and tailor the therapy to each patient. Complete control of symptoms will not be possible in all patients. An explanation of the benefits of ADT will help the patient to understand and tolerate the possible flare-up in symptoms which may occur in the latter part of the off-steroid day. Other symptomatic therapy may be added or increased at this time if needed.
- In the event of an acute flare-up of the disease process, it may be necessary to return to a full suppressive daily divided corticoid dose for control. Once control is again established alternate day therapy may be re- instituted.
- Although many of the undesirable features of corticosteroid therapy can be minimized by ADT, as in any therapeutic situation, the physician must carefully weigh the benefit-risk ratio for each patient in whom corticoid therapy is being considered.
DELTASONE (prednisone) Tablets are available in the following strengths and package sizes:
2.5 mg (pink, round, scored, imprinted DELTASONE (prednisone) 2.5)
Bottles of 100 NDC 0009-0032-01
5 mg (white, round, scored, imprinted DELTASONE (prednisone) 5)
Bottles of 100 NDC 0009-0045-01
Bottles of 500 NDC 0009-0045-02
Bottles of 1000 NDC 0009-0045-16
DOSEPAK™ Unit-of-Use (21 tablets)
Unit Dose Packages (100) NDC 0009-0045-05
10 mg (white, round, scored, imprinted DELTASONE (prednisone) 10)
Bottles of 100 NDC 0009-0193-01
Bottles of 500 NDC 0009-0193-02
Unit Dose Packages (100) NDC 0009-0193-03
20 mg (peach, round, scored, imprinted DELTASONE (prednisone) 20)
Bottles of 100 NDC 0009-0165-01
Bottles of 500 NDC 0009-0165-02
Unit Dose Packages (100) NDC 0009-0165-03
50 mg (white, round, scored, imprinted DELTASONE (prednisone) 50)
Bottles of 100 NDC 0009-0388-01
Store at controlled room temperature 15º to 30ºC (59º to 86º F).
Caution: Federal law prohibits dispensing without prescription.
The Upjohn Company
Kalamazoo, MI 49001, USA
Revised September 1995
FDA rev date: 12/28/1993
Fluid and Electrolyte Disturbances
Loss of muscle mass
Tendon rupture, particularly of the Achilles tendon
Vertebral compression fractures
Aseptic necrosis of femoral and humeral heads
Pathologic fracture of long bones
Peptic ulcer with possible perforation and hemorrhage
Increases in alanine transaminase (ALT, SGPT), aspartate
transaminase (AST, SGOT) and alkaline phosphatase have been observed following corticosteroid treatment. These changes are usually small, not associated with any clinical syndrome and are reversible upon discontinuation.
Development of Cushingoid state
Secondary adrenocortical and pituitary unresponsiveness, particularly in times of stress, as in trauma, surgery or illness
Suppression of growth in children
Decreased carbohydrate tolerance
Manifestations of latent diabetes mellitus
Increased requirements for insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents in diabetics
Urticaria and other allergic, anaphylactic or hypersensitivity reactions
The pharmacokinetic interactions listed below are potentially clinically important.
Drugs that induce hepatic enzymes such as phenobarbital, phenytoin and rifampin
may increase the clearance of corticosteroids and may require increases in corticosteroid
dose to achieve the desired response. Drugs such as troleandomycin and ketoconazole
may inhibit the metabolism of corticosteroids and thus decrease their clearance.
Therefore, the dose of corticosteroid should be titrated to avoid steroid toxicity.
Corticosteroids may increase the clearance of chronic high dose aspirin. This
could lead to decreased salicylate serum levels or increase the risk of salicylate
toxicity when corticosteroid is withdrawn. Aspirin should be used cautiously
in conjunction with corticosteroids in patients suffering from hypoprothrombinemia.
The effect of corticosteroids on oral anticoagulants is variable. There are
reports of enhanced as well as diminished effects of anticoagulants when given
concurrently with corticosteroids.
Corticosteroids may mask some signs of infection, and new infections may appear during their use. Infections with any pathogen including viral, bacterial, fungal, protozoan or helminthic infections, in any location of the body, may be associated with the use of corticosteroids alone or in combination With other immunosuppressive agents that affect cellular immunity, humoral immunity, or neutrophil function.1
These infections may be mild, but can be severe and at times fatal. With increasing doses of corticosteroids, the rate of occurrence of infectious complications increases.2 There may be decreased resistance and inability to localize infection when corticosteroids are used. Prolonged use of corticosteroids may produce posterior subcapsular cataracts, glaucoma with possible damage to the optic nerves, and may enhance the establishment of secondary ocular infections due to fungi or viruses.
Usage in pregnancy: Since adequate human reproduction studies have not
been done with corticosteroids, the use of these drugs in pregnancy, nursing
mothers or women of childbearing potential requires that the possible benefits
of the drug be weighed against the potential hazards to the mother and embryo
or fetus. Infants born of mothers who have received substantial doses of corticosteroids
during pregnancy, should be carefully observed for signs of hypoadrenalism.
Average and large doses of hydrocortisone or cortisone can cause elevation
of blood pressure, salt and water retention, and increased excretion of potassium.
These effects are less likely to occur with the synthetic derivatives except
when used in, large doses. Dietary salt restriction and potassium supplementation
may be necessary. All corticosteroids Increase calcium excretion.
Administration of live or live, attenuated vaccines is contraindicated in patients
receiving immunosuppressive doses of corticosteroids. Killed or inactivated
vaccines may be administered to patients receiving immunosuppressive doses of
corticosteroids; however, the response to such vaccines may be diminished. Indicated
immunization procedures may be undertaken in patients receiving nonimmunosuppressive
doses of corticosteroids.
The use of DELTASONE (prednisone) Tablets in active tuberculosis should be restricted to
those cases of fulminating or disseminated tuberculosis in which the corticosteroid
is used for the management of the disease in conjunction with an appropriate
If corticosteroids are indicated in patients with latent tuberculosis or tuberculin
reactivity, close observation is necessary as reactivation of the disease may
occur. During prolonged corticosteroid therapy, these patients should receive
Persons who are on drugs which suppress the immune system are more susceptible to infections than healthy individuals. Chicken pox and measles, for example, can have a more serious or even fatal course in non-immune children or adults on corticosteroids. In such children or adults who have not had these diseases, particular care should be taken to avoid exposure. How the dose, route and duration of corticosteroid administration affects the risk of developing a disseminated infection is not known. The contribution of the underlying disease and/or prior corticosteroid treatment to the risk is also not known. If exposed to chicken pox, prophylaxis with varicella zoster immune globulin (VZIG) may be indicated. If exposed to measles, prophylaxis with pooled intramuscular immunoglobulin (IG) may be indicated. (See the respective package inserts for complete VZIG and IG prescribing information.) If chicken pox develops, treatment with antiviral agents may be considered. Similarly, corticosteroids. should be used with great care in patients with known or suspected Strongyloides (threadworm) infestation. In such patients, corticosteroid-induced immunosuppression may lead to Strongyloides hyperinfection and dissemination with widespread larval migration, often accompanied by severe enterocolitis and potentially fatal gram-negative septicemia.
Drug-induced secondary adrenocortical insufficiency may be minimized by gradual
reduction of dosage. This type of relative insufficiency may persist for months
after discontinuation of therapy; therefore, in any situation of stress occurring
during that period, hormone therapy should be reinstituted. Since mineralocorticoid
secretion may be impaired, salt and/or a mineralocorticoid should, be administered
Corticosteroids should be used cautiously in patients with ocular herpes simplex
because of possible cornmeal perforation.
The lowest possible dose of corticosteroid should be used to control the condition
under treatment, and when reduction in dosage is possible, the reduction should
Psychic derangements may appear when corticosteroids are used, ranging from
euphoria, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes, and severe depression,
to frank psychotic manifestations. Also, existing emotional instability or psychotic
tendencies may be aggravated by corticosteroids.
Steroids should be used with caution in nonspecific ulcerative colitis, if
there is a probability of impending perforation, abscess or other pyogenic infection;
diverticulitis; fresh intestinal anastomoses; active or latent peptic ulcer;
renal insufficiency; hypertension; osteoporosis; and myasthenia gravis.
Growth and development of infants and children on prolonged corticosteroid
therapy should be carefully observed.
Kaposi's sarcoma has been reported to occur in patients receiving corticosteroid
therapy. Discontinuation of corticosteroids may result in clinical remission.
Although controlled clinical trials have shown corticosteroids to be effective in speeding the resolution of acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis, they do not show that corticosteroids affect the ultimate outcome or natural history of the disease. The studies do show that relatively high doses of corticosteroids are necessary to demonstrate a significant effect. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.)
Since complications of treatment with glucocorticoids are dependent on the
size of the dose and the duration of treatment, a risk/benefit decision must
be made in each individual case as to dose and duration of treatment and as
to whether daily or intermittent therapy should be used.
Convulsions have been reported with concurrent use of methylprednisolone and cyclosporin. Since concurrent use of these agents results in a mutual inhibition of metabolism, it is possible that adverse events associated with the individual use of either drug may be more apt to occur.
1 Fekety R. Infections associated with corticosteroids and immunosuppressive therapy. In: Gorbach SL, Bartlett JG, Blacklow NR, eds. Infectious Diseases. Philadelphia: WBSaunders Company 1992:1050-1.
2 Stuck AE, Minder CE, Frey FJ. Risk of infectious complications in patients taking glucocorticoids. Rev Infect Dis 1989:11(6):954-63.
Naturally occurring glucocorticoids (hydrocortisone and cortisone), which also
have salt-retaining properties, are used as replacement therapy in adrenocortical
deficiency states. Their synthetic analogs are primarily used for their potent
anti-inflammatory effects in disorders of many organ systems.
Glucocorticoids cause profound and varied metabolic effects. In addition, they modify the body's immune responses to diverse stimuli.
Persons who are on immunosuppressant doses of corticosteroids should be warned to avoid exposure to chicken pox or measles. Patients should also be advised that if they are exposed, medical advice should be sought without delay.
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