Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
What Is Prednisone?
Prednisone is a glucocorticoid indicated to treat or manage many conditions, including:
- endocrine disorders,
- rheumatic disorders,
- collagen diseases,
- dermatologic diseases,
- ophthalmic (eye) diseases,
- respiratory diseases,
- hematologic disorders,
- neoplastic diseases (cancers),
- edematous states, and
- gastrointestinal diseases.
Prednisone tablets are available in generic form.
What Are Side Effects of Prednisone?
Common side effects prednisone include:
Tell your doctor if you experience serious side effects of prednisone including
- severe allergic reactions (skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of your lips/face/tongue),
- mood changes or depression,
- eye pain or vision changes,
- sore throat,
- difficulty urinating, or
- high blood sugar (increased thirst, increased urination, confusion, or swelling of the ankles and feet).
Dosage for Prednisone
The initial dosage of prednisone may vary from 5 mg to 60 mg per day, depending on the specific disease entity being treated.
What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Prednisone?
Prednisone may interact with:
- potassium-depleting agents (e.g., amphotericin B, diuretics),
- macrolide antibiotics,
- antidiabetic drugs,
- digitalis glycosides,
- estrogens (including oral contraceptives),
- azole antifungals,
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs),
- skin tests,
- thalidomide, and
- live or inactivated vaccines.
Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use and all vaccines you recently received.
Prednisone and Pregnancy
During pregnancy, prednisone should be used only if prescribed. Infants born to mothers who have received substantial doses of steroids such as prednisone during pregnancy should be carefully observed for signs of hypoadrenalism. Prednisone passes into breast milk. Breastfeeding while using prednisone is not recommended.
Our Prednisone Tablets Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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(listed alphabetically, under each subsection)
The following adverse reactions have been reported with prednisone or other corticosteroids:
bradycardia, cardiac arrest, cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac enlargement, circulatory collapse, congestive heart failure, ECG changes caused by potassium deficiency, edema, fat embolism, hypertension or aggravation of hypertension, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in premature infants, myocardial rupture following recent myocardial infarction (see WARNINGS: Cardio-Renal), necrotizing angiitis, pulmonary edema, syncope, tachycardia, thromboembolism, thrombophlebitis, vasculitis.
acne, acneiform eruptions, allergic dermatitis, alopecia, angioedema, angioneurotic edema, atrophy and thinning of skin, dry scaly skin, ecchymoses and petechiae (bruising), erythema, facial edema, hirsutism, impaired wound healing, increased sweating, Karposi's sarcoma (see PRECAUTIONS: General Precautions ), lupus erythematosus-like lesions, perineal irritation, purpura, rash, striae, subcutaneous fat atrophy, suppression of reactions to skin tests, striae, telangiectasis, thin fragile skin, thinning scalp hair, urticaria.
Adrenal insufficiency-greatest potential caused by high potency glucocorticoids with long duration of action (associated symptoms include; arthralgias, buffalo hump, dizziness, life-threatening hypotension, nausea, severe tiredness or weakness), amenorrhea, postmenopausal bleeding or other menstrual irregularities, decreased carbohydrate and glucose tolerance, development of cushingoid state, diabetes mellitus (new onset or manifestations of latent), glycosuria, hyperglycemia, hypertrichosis, hyperthyroidism (see WARNINGS: Endocrine), hypothyroidism, increased requirements for insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents in diabetics, lipids abnormal, moon face, negative nitrogen balance caused by protein catabolism, secondary adrenocortical and pituitary unresponsiveness (particularly in times of stress, as in trauma, surgery or illness) (see WARNINGS: Endocrine), suppression of growth in pediatric patients.
Fluid And Electrolyte Disturbances
congestive heart failure in susceptible patients, fluid retention, hypokalemia, hypokalemic alkalosis, metabolic alkalosis, hypotension or shock-like reaction, potassium loss, sodium retention with resulting edema.
abdominal distention, abdominal pain,anorexia which may result in weight loss, constipation, diarrhea, elevation in serum liver enzyme levels (usually reversible upon discontinuation), gastric irritation, hepatomegaly, increased appetite and weight gain, nausea, oropharyngeal candidiasis, pancreatitis, peptic ulcer with possible perforation and hemorrhage, perforation of the small and large intestine (particularly in patients with inflammatory bowel disease), ulcerative esophagitis, vomiting.
negative nitrogen balance due to protein catabolism.
arthralgias, aseptic necrosis of femoral and humeral heads, increase risk of fracture, loss of muscle mass, muscle weakness, myalgias, osteopenia, osteoporosis (see PRECAUTIONS: Musculoskeletal), pathologic fracture of long bones, steroid myopathy, tendon rupture (particularly of the Achilles tendon), vertebral compression fractures.
amnesia, anxiety, benign intracranial hypertension, convulsions, delirium, dementia (characterized by deficits in memory retention, attention, concentration, mental speed and efficiency, and occupational performance), depression, dizziness, EEG abnormalities, emotional instability and irritability, euphoria, hallucinations, headache, impaired cognition, incidence of severe psychiatric symptoms, increased intracranial pressure with papilledema (pseudotumor cerebri) usually following discontinuation of treatment, increased motor activity, insomnia, ischemic neuropathy, long-term memory loss, mania, mood swings, neuritis, neuropathy, paresthesia, personality changes, psychiatric disorders including steroid psychoses or aggravation of pre-existing psychiatric conditions, restlessness, schizophrenia, verbal memory loss, vertigo, withdrawn behavior.
blurred vision, cataracts (including posterior subcapsular cataracts), central serous chorioretinopathy, establishment of secondary bacterial, fungal and viral infections, exophthalmos, glaucoma, increased intraocular pressure (see PRECAUTIONS: Ophthalmic), optic nerve damage, papilledema.
abnormal fat deposits, aggravation/masking of infections, decreased resistance to infection (see WARNINGS: Infection), hiccups, immunosuppresion, increased or decreased motility and number of spermatozoa, malaise, insomnia, moon face, pyrexia.
To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE EVENTS, contact Actavis at 1-800-272-5525 or FDA at 1- 800-FDA-1088 or http://www.fda.gov/ for voluntary reporting of advers e reactions .
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Prednisone (Prednisone Tablets, USP)