Prednisone: Dosage, Side Effects, Pregnancy & More

No one wants to be a part of arthritis in their old age. But there is a medication that helps old ages to get some comfy time. It is Prednisone — a glucocorticoid medication.

And that’s the very aim of this post. In this article, we try to provide all the comprehensive Prednisone related details, facts, history, uses, side effects, and precautions along with FAQ questions.

What is Prednisone?


Prednisone is a type of corticosteroid drug that is used to reduces the swelling and allergic reactions in the body. It suppresses the immune system and prevents the release of inflammatory substances into the body.

That’s why Prednisone is used as an anti-inflammatory drug and also as an immunosuppressant. In addition, Prednisone drug can treat many different conditions, such as allergic disorders, asthma, COPD, and rheumatological diseases.

While other medications are skin problems, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, or respiratory disorders. Along with other steroids, it is also used to treat excess calcium in the blood due to cancer and adrenal insufficiency.

This list goes on and on. So, you can say that one drug has such a diversified application.

Basic Chemical Information of Prednisone

  • Formula: C21H26O5
  • Molar Mass: 358.428 g/mol g·mol−1
  • Melting Point: 230 °C (446 °F)

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History and Development of Prednisone

History and Development of Prednisone

Arthur Nobile is called to be the discoverer of prednisone in the mid-1900s. And at that time, it was revolutionized the treatment of arthritis.

The manufacturing process of this drug was based on microbiological oxidization from a cortisone drug by corynebacterium simplex.

And in 1954, it was licensed for medical uses in the US by the manufacturing company— Schering Plough Corporation. Globally, Prednisone was released in 1995 under the brand name Meticorten.

From then, it relieves the pain of billions of lives worldwide. And according to the U.S. health survey, it is the 22nd most widely prescribed medication.

Medical Uses of Prednisone

Medical Uses of Prednisone

As from now, you eventually get to know, prednisone treats patient’s pain by naturally replacing the steroids that are in the body. In addition, it can treat many different autoimmune diseases and inflammatory conditions.

The following are the list of conditions (or disease) that can be treated using Prednisone drug.

  • Various types of arthritis.
  • Swelling and severe allergic reactions.
  • Multiple sclerosis— a disease in which the nerves fail to function properly.
  • Lupus— a disease in which the body attacks its own organs.
  • Certain conditions that involve diseases related to the lungs, skin, eyes, kidneys blood, thyroid, stomach, and intestines.
  • Asthma, COPD, CIDP, rheumatic disorders, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease.
  • Migraine headache, cluster headache, and severe aphthous ulcer.
  • For the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphomas, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and other hormone-sensitive tumors, in combination with other anticancer drugs.

Side Effects of Prednisone

Prednisone’s side effects could be long-term, and short-term. Majorly patients show mild side-effects, especially when they are on the medication of other drugs. By the way, these are the following side effects of Prednisone. So, let’s first learn about major side effects.

Side Effects of Prednisone

Major Side Effects

These are the list of major side effects that are seen in the patents which are on the Prednisone medication.

  • Increased blood sugar level for individuals with diabetes
  • Difficulty controlling emotion
  • Immunosuppression and Hepatic steatosis
  • Corticosteroid-induced lipodystrophy (moon face, central obesity)
  • Depression, mania, psychosis, or other psychiatric symptoms
  • Steroid Myopathy with unusual fatigue or weakness
  • Mental confusion, memory and attention dysfunction
  • Muscle atrophy and blurred vision
  • Abdominal pain, hips pain, shoulder pain, and peptic ulcer
  • Steroid-induced osteoporosis
  • Insomnia and severe joint pain
  • Cataracts or glaucoma
  • Anxiety and Avascular necrosis
  • Black stool, stomach pain, or bloating
  • Stretch marks and severe swelling
  • Mouth sores or dry mouth

Mild Side Effects

  • Nervousness and hyperactivity
  • Acne, skin rash
  • Appetite gain and increased thirst
  • Frequent urination and diarrhea
  • Leg pain and cramps
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Headache and vomiting

If you are on the prescription of Prednisone and have any of those symptoms, you should immediately inform your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions While on Medication of Prednisone


Every patient should remarks their medical history in front of their doctor so that doctors can decide the best medication for you. And this policy is not only for this drug but also for any type of medication.

These are the conditions (or disease) which can cause complications, so better to look for them.

  • Any fungal infections, tuberculosis, and herpes problem.
  • Heart problems such as a recent heart attack.
  • High blood pressure, thyroid problems, kidney disease, liver disease, stomach, and intestinal problems.
  • Bone loss (osteoporosis), mood disorders (such as psychosis, anxiety, depression).
  • Eye diseases such as cataracts and glaucoma.
  • Diabetes, mineral imbalance (low level of potassium/calcium in the blood), seizures, blood clots, and bleeding problems.

For children: It is from the research, if a child is on the medication of Prednisone for a long period of time, then this medication might slow down the child’s growth.

Prednisone Interaction With Other Medication 

These are the following medication that could interact with Prednisone.

  • Anticoagulants
  • Any types of Barbiturates drugs
  • Cholestyramine (Questran)
  • Chronic high dose aspirin
  • Ephedrine (found in cold medications)
  • Ketoconazole
  • Phenobarbital
  • Phenytoin
  • Rifampin
  • Troleandomycin

Special Case: Prednisone and Pregnancy

Prednisone and Pregnancy

It is generally considered safe in pregnancy but it may rarely harm an unborn baby. In addition, infants born to mothers who are on prednisone’s medication for an extended period of time may develop some hormone problems. So, it goes into breast milk and has the ability to affect a breastfeeding baby.

Therefore, a low dose of prednisone appears to be safer when breastfeeding. But, the best thing is to consult your doctor right away, if you notice any symptoms such as persistent nausea/vomiting, severe diarrhea, or weakness in your newborn baby.

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Prednisone is a corticosteroid drug that suppresses the immune system. It serves as a supplement for humans with insufficient cortisol levels.

Apart from this, it can positively treat several conditions such as arthritis, severe allergies, skin diseases, cancer, eye problems, and immune system disorders, and many more. It also effectively reduces swellness and redness in the muscles.

However, it is an effective drug, but its prolonged medication can develop some health problems. Some prolonged Prednisone medication leads to side effects such as muscle pain, irregular breathing, fatigue, swelling, constant sore throat, blurry vision, intestinal bleeding, and many more.

Before ending this topic, let’s check-out some commonly asked questions by most of the users on google.

General FAQs

What Are the Side Effects of Prednisone?

Ans: Side effects of prednisone include increased appetite, weight gain, cataract, glaucoma, osteoporosis, and hip bone pain, acne, mood disorder, and trouble sleeping.

Is Prednisone Safe During Pregnancy?

Ans: The FDA has classified prednisone as a type C drug. While talking about this drug, the condition differs from patient to patient. So, you have to consult your doctor if you’re pregnant. And actually, it might pass into breast milk and could affect the development of an infant baby.

What Do You Do If You Miss a Dose?

Ans: If you skip a dose, try taking it as soon as you recall. And at any cost, do not take more than one dose at a time, even if you missed a one.

Who Should Not Take Prednisone?

Ans: If you ever had any of the following conditions such as tuberculosis, herpes infection of eyes or genitals, severe depression, high blood pressure, and currently pregnant you should avoid Prednisone.

Is Prednisone can be given for the dog’s medication?

Ans: Dogs may be given prednisone to manage pain and swelling from conditions such as arthritis. Common side-effects by this drug in dogs are allergies, dry skin, and oily skin. While serve side-effects are liver damages and kidney failure.

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