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Prednisone Side Effects (Adverse Effects)

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What is prednisone, and how does it work?

Prednisone is a drug that belongs to the corticosteroid drug class, and is an anti-inflammatory and immune system suppressant. It’s used to treat a variety of diseases and conditions, for example: inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), lupus, asthma, cancers, and several types of arthritis.

Common side effects are weight gain, headache, fluid retention, and muscle weakness. Other effects and adverse events include glaucoma, cataracts, obesity, facial hair growth, moon face, and growth retardation in children. This medicine also causes psychiatric problems, for example: depression, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes, and psychotic behavior. Serious side effects include reactions to diabetes drugs, infections, and necrosis of the hips and joints.

Corticosteroids like prednisone, have many drug interactions; examples include: estrogens, phenytoin (Dilantin), diuretics, warfarin (Jantoven), alcohol, and diabetes drugs.

Prednisone is available as tablets of 1, 2.5, 10, 20, and 50 mg; extended release tablets of 1, 2, and 5mg; and oral solution of 5mg/5ml.

Its use during the first trimester of pregnancy may cause cleft palate. This medicine is secreted in breast milk and can cause side effects in infants who are nursing.

You should not stop taking prednisone abruptly because it can cause withdrawal symptoms and adrenal failure. Talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other medical professional if you have questions about prednisone.

If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

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