Prednisone is used in management of inflammatory diseases for its immunosuppressant effects. It is a synthetic corticosteroid used in treatment of certain forms of cancer, and has significant side effects and care must be exercised in its usage. As an immunosuppressant drug it affects the immunity of the patient making the person vulnerable to various infections.
Mechanism of Action
It can be administered as intramuscular or intravenous injection but the commonly used form as a tablet in different sizes. Prednisone 20 mg has an active element called Predniosolone which is a steroid. Prednisone is converted to the steroid form in liver hence it is termed a prodrug.
Prednisone belongs to the class of glucocorticoid which is adrenocortical steroids occurring naturally and be prepared synthetically. These are absorbed by gastrointestinal canal. Glucocorticoid (naturally occurring) is used in replacement therapy in cases of adrenocortical deficiency conditions. Synthetic forms are used for anti inflammatory characteristics. These steroids have pronounced metabolic effects in various forms and they affect the body immune system.
Uses of Prednisone 20mg:
Prednisone 20 mg is prescribed for treatment of varied indications like asthma, rheumatic disorders, COPD, adrenocortical insufficiency, cancer related hypercalcema, thyroiditis, ulcerative colitis, severe tuberculosis, nephritic syndrome and many serious conditions. Because of its immunosuppressant properties it is used to prevent rejection after organ transplant.
It is used in treatment of migraines and cluster headache. It is also used for severe cases of apthous ulcer. Prednisone is prescribed as antitumor drug. Since it suppresses adrenalin it is used in treatment of congenital adrenal hyperplasia. It is an important drug used in treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia and multiple myeloma and other tumors that are sensitive to hormones.
In spite of its use in a variety of serious conditions Prednisone is known to have severe adverse effects. It causes high glucose levels especially in patients having diabetes mellitus. Since it interferes with hormonal balance the other effects are uncontrolled emotions, difficulty in focusing, weight gain especially in the abdominal region, facial swelling, mania, psychosis, depression, fatigue, infections or aggravation of any minor infection already had, pain in hips, insomnia, mouth sores and anxiety.
Development of Dependency
If Prednisone 20 mg is taken for more than seven days the effects of adrenalin suppression will occur and makes the body to loose ability to make adrenalin naturally. Hence it should not be abruptly stopped but truncated over a long period to avoid the ill effects of adrenalin deficiency after cessation of the Prednisone course.