The most common uses for prednisone are for the treatment of inflammatory diseases, blood and skin disorders, allergies, asthma, and to lessen the effects of certain kinds of cancer. The drug is a corticosteroid, a type of synthetic steroid hormone. It functions by suppressing the immune system suppression and as an anti-inflammatory.
The adrenal glands create a hormone that is comparable in makeup to the properties of prednisone. The drug mirrors the way the naturally occurring corticosteroid operates and affects the system in the same way. Corticosteroids of this variety can have a powerful effect on many different areas of the body and on numerous medical conditions.
Arthritis is among the most common uses for prednisone. The anti-inflammatory capabilities of the drug target the inflamed area and reduce swelling and discomfort. Prednisone often allows those crippled by arthritis to move around with much more freedom and ease.
Other uses for prednisone include the treatment of several disorders of the blood and skin. Autoimmune disorders like psoriasis, which cause irritated skin, redness, and swelling, have been shown to be greatly improved with prednisone. If the skin has an allergic response to an external stimulus, usually in the form of a rash, prednisone can be an extremely effective treatment. Blood diseases like anemia benefit from prednisone as well.
Individuals with asthma suffer chronic inflammation of the body's airways. Given prednisone's powers at combating inflammation, the drug is often prescribed to treat asthma and relax the airways. This helps the afflicted individual breathe clearer and with greater ease and may also be prescribed for chronic bronchial conditions like bronchitis.
The symptoms of cancers like lymphoma and leukemia can present uses for prednisone. Prednisone is widely utilized as an agent in chemotherapy. It helps relieve the painful indications of both the cancer itself and the chemotherapy process.
Prednisone has several documented side effects, regardless of the reason the patient is taking the drug. Stomach problems, headache, and sleeplessness are some of the most prevalent. There are more serious side effects as well, though they are rare. These include skin rash, swelling, weakness of the muscles, unusually dark stools or vomit, pain in the bones, or colds that last longer than a normal duration. Some patients may be prescribed prednisone for a lengthy period of time; in these cases, doctors stress the importance of weaning off the medication gradually to avoid any exacerbated side effects.