Prednisone - Uses & Side Effects

Prednisone provides relief for inflamed areas of the body. It is used to treat a number of different conditions, such as inflammation (swelling), severe allergies, adrenal problems, arthritis, and so on. Prednisone is available only with your doctor’s prescription.

What should you know before taking prednisone?

For prednisone, the following should be considered:

  • Allergies. Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to prednisone or any other medicines.
  • Pediatric-specific problems. Pediatric patients are more likely to have slower growth and bone problems if prednisone is used for a long time.
  • Geriatric-specific problems. Elderly patients are more likely to have age-related liver, kidney, or heart problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for elderly patients receiving prednisone.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding. Using prednisone while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Studies in women suggest that this medication poses minimal risk to the infant when used during breastfeeding.

What should you avoid while taking prednisone?

If you will be taking prednisone for a long time, it is very important that your doctor check you at regular visits for any unwanted effects that may be caused by prednisone. Blood or urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of prednisone. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems.

Side effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur, they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

  • Aggression
  • Agitation
  • Blurred vision
  • Decrease in the amount of urine
  • Dizziness
  • Fast, slow, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Mood changes
  • Noisy, rattling breathing
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
  • Pounding in the ears
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of the fingers, hands, feet, or lower legs
  • Trouble thinking, speaking or walking
  • Troubled breathing at rest
  • Weight gain


The dose of prednisone will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor’s orders or the directions on the label. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.