This product is taken orally.
Why is it prescribed?
Prednisone is used to treat and relieve symptoms of different respiratory disorders (e.g. asthma, pneumonia). Prednisone is also used for many other disorders and diseases but this material will be limited to the respiratory tract.
Apo-Prednisone tablets should be used exactly as directed by your doctor. Store this medication at room temperature away from light and moisture.
High dose or long term therapy must not be discontinued abruptly; it requires gradual tapering to minimize the "withdrawal effect".
If you have been instructed to taper your therapy and you experience any of the following symptoms during or after discontinuation, you should notify your doctor: loss of appetite, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, weakness, dizziness, weight loss, diarrhea.
At any time during therapy, contact your doctor if you experience unusual weight gain, black tarry stools, vomiting of blood, burning, puffing of the face, muscle weakness, menstrual irregularities, prolonged sore throat, fever, cold or infection.
Apo-Prednisone tablets should be taken with a meal or snack to lessen the possibility of stomach upset.
It is not uncommon for people on long-term therapy to take Apo-Prednisone every other day. This type of alternate day therapy is used to retain the beneficial drug effects while lowering the risk of side effects. The dose is usually larger than what would be given with daily therapy and is given in the morning.
If you have been instructed to take a single daily or alternate day dose, it should be taken in the morning. The body's natural production of steroids is at a maximum between 2 and 8 am so by taking Apo-Prednisone tablets around this time allows the body to cope better. However, if you have been instructed to take multiple doses, they should be taken at evenly spaced intervals throughout the day.
People on long term Apo-Prednisone therapy should wear or carry identification.
If you have any questions about your medications, ask your pharmacist.
Depending on the disease being treated and the response of the patient, the starting adult dosage can vary from 5 mg to 60 mg per day.
Prednisone is considered an important drug in cases where anti-inflammatory activity or suppression of the body's immune system is desirable. The mechanism by which prednisone exerts it's anti-inflammatory effect is not clear but it is thought that many factors are involved. Its ability to affect the body's immune system is also due to several factors that take place at the cellular level.
Along with its needed effects, prednisone may cause some unwanted or undesirable effects. The frequency and severity of these effects is dependant on many factors including dose, duration of therapy and individual response. Your pharmacist will be able to tell you which ones will be more likely to occur with your particular treatment plan. Possible unwanted effects include:
- upset stomach
- increased appetite
- weight gain
- sleep disturbances
- fluid retention
- higher blood sugar levels
- increased risk of infection
- impaired wound healing
- peptic ulcers
- growth retardation in children (prolonged treatment at anti-inflammatory doses)
- Cushing's Syndrome (long-term use): Appearance of "moonface"(facial rounding); enlargement of some fat pad areas; obesity in the midsection; diabetes; osteoporosis; acne; excessive body hair growth; muscle weakness
- withdrawal effect, if therapy is discontinued abruptly (nausea, fatigue, lowered blood pressure, joint and muscle aches, fever, dizziness, fainting)
- muscle weakness
- mental disturbances
High dose or long term therapy must be withdrawn gradually (tapered).
Growth may be suppressed in children receiving long-term daily therapy.
While taking prednisone, signs of infection can be masked and new infections may appear.
Diabetics may need to increase their dose of insulin or oral diabetes medications.
Prednisone can cause mental or mood disturbances (e.g. depression).
Drug Interactions: It is important to tell your doctor and pharmacist of any over-the-counter or prescription medications you are taking. The dose of one or both medications may need to be altered or a new medication may need to be prescribed. The following drugs and drug classes have been known to interact with prednisone:
- barbiturates (e.g. phenobarbital)
- phenytoin (e.g. Dilantin®)
- rifampin (e.g. Rifadin®)
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. Aspirin®)
- warfarin (e.g. Coumadin®)
- antidiabetic agents (e.g. insulin)
- cyclosporine (e.g. Neoral®)
Your pharmacist will be able to answer any questions you may have regarding the seriousness or the mechanism of the interaction.
Use is not recommended in the following situations:
- allergy to prednisone or any component of the preparation
- fungal infections
- administration of live vaccines in people who are taking doses of prednisone high enough to suppress the body's immune system.
Caution is recommended in the following situations:
- high blood pressure
- diverticulitis (inflammation of the sacs or pouches that are formed at weak points in the wall of the colon causing abdominal pain with diarrhea or constipation)
- peptic ulcers
- herpes simplex in the eye
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- psychiatric conditions
- myasthenia gravis
- ulcerative colitis (inflammation of the colon causing symptoms like diarrhea with or without blood and mucus, and lower abdominal pain)
Use in pregnancy: Prednisone may pose a small risk to the developing fetus. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you suspect that you may be pregnant.
Use while breastfeeding: Short-term use is considered safe. Limit dose and duration of therapy, when possible.