What Is Prednisone Used For?

Updated on September 28, 2022
what is prednisone

Prednisone is a medication that belongs to a class of drugs known as corticosteroids which is typically used to treat inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, asthma, and Crohn’s disease. Prednisone can also be used to treat certain types of cancer. It works by suppressing the immune system, which can help to reduce inflammation and pain. However, this drug can also cause side effects such as weight gain, mood swings, and difficulty sleeping. Therefore, it is important to talk to your doctor about the potential risks and benefits of taking prednisone before starting treatment.

How Does Prednisone Work? 

Prednisone works by mimicking the effects of a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is a steroid hormone produced naturally by the adrenal gland. When taken in high doses, prednisone can help to reduce inflammation throughout the body. 

Anti-inflammatory drugs like prednisone are typically prescribed for inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, asthma, and allergies. They can also be used to treat certain types of cancer. However, because prednisone can have serious side effects, it is important to only take it under the supervision of a healthcare professional. 

What Are The Side Effects Of Prednisone? 

The most common side effect of prednisone is weight gain. Other common side effects include insomnia, mood swings, and irritability. In some cases, prednisone can also cause more serious side effects such as gastrointestinal bleeding, osteoporosis, and avascular necrosis (death of bone tissue). If you experience any side effects while taking prednisone, be sure to speak with your healthcare provider. 

Prednisone and Its Class of Drugs

Prednisone belongs to a class of drugs known as corticosteroids. These drugs are designed to mimic the hormones produced by the adrenal glands. Corticosteroids are often used to treat inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis, asthma, and Crohn’s disease. They can also be used to suppress the immune system in people who have conditions such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. Prednisone is available in both pill form and as a liquid and can be taken orally or injected. 

Corticosteroids like prednisone mimic the hormones produced by the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are located on top of the kidneys and produce cortisol, which is a stress hormone. Cortisol helps the body to regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels, among other things. It can also be used to suppress the immune system in people who have conditions such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.

Conditions That Prednisone Treats 

Asthma – An inflammatory disorder of the airways that can result in wheezing, coughing, chest pain, and breathlessness.

Allergies -Hives, rashes, watery eyes, and runny nose are just some of the manifestations of an allergic reaction.

Arthritis – A condition characterized by inflamed joints that causes pain and stiffness.

Cancer – Some types of cancer respond to prednisone by “shrinking” the tumor. This effect can alleviate symptoms and allow for more targeted treatments. 

Who Should Take Prednisone?

If you have been diagnosed with asthma or another condition that requires treatment with prednisone, your doctor will likely prescribe it for you. However, there are some situations where taking prednisone might not be appropriate. These include:

• People who are allergic to prednisone

• Pregnant women

• Children under age 2

How Should You Take Prednisone?

Prednisone is used to treat a wide variety of medical conditions. It is a steroid that works by reducing inflammation. As mentioned above, prednisone is available as an oral tablet, an oral solution, and an injectable solution.

The oral tablet is available in several strengths, including 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg, and 50 mg. The oral solution is available at a strength of 5 mg/mL. The injectable solution is available at a strength of 25 mg/mL.

Prednisone can be given with or without food. If you take prednisone with food, you may be less likely to experience side effects such as stomach upset. Prednisone should be taken at the same time each day to maintain an even level in your blood.

When Should You Take Prednisone?

It may be taken every other day if you are taking it for more than a few days. If you are taking prednisone on a daily basis, you should take it in the morning before 9:00 am.

This drug can also increase your risk of developing infections. Prednisone should be used with caution in people with heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or osteoporosis. Keep in mind that it should not be used during pregnancy unless the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks to the fetus.

What Other Medications Can Be Taken While Using Prednisone?

You should not take any other medications while using prednisone unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Prednisone may interact with other medications such as NSAIDs, blood thinners, seizure medications, or diabetes medications, as well as vitamins, herbal supplements, and dietary products. Taking these things with prednisone can cause serious side effects.

Can You Stop Taking Prednisone Without A Doctor’s Help?

If you stop taking prednisone without talking to your doctor first, you may develop symptoms of withdrawal, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, headache, dizziness, anxiety, trouble sleeping, and muscle aches. These symptoms usually go away after several days. However, some people may need to stay off prednisone for longer periods of time.


The purpose of prednisone is to reduce inflammation, which is why it is often used to treat conditions like asthma, bronchitis, and arthritis. While it can be a very effective drug, it can also cause a number of side effects, including weight gain, hypertension, and diabetes. For this reason, it is important to consult with a doctor before taking prednisone and to carefully monitor your health while taking the drug.

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