Prednisone (brand name- Orasone) is an FDA-approved treatment for low corticosteroid levels (lack of certain substances that are usually produced by the body and are needed for normal body functioning).
It is also useful to treat other conditions in patients with normal corticosteroid levels, such as arthritis; severe allergic reactions; multiple sclerosis (a disease in which the nerves do not function properly); lupus (a disease in which the body attacks many of its own organs); and certain conditions that affect the lungs, skin, eyes, kidneys blood, thyroid, stomach, and intestines. Prednisone also treats the symptoms of certain types of cancer.
Prednisone is in a class of medications called corticosteroids. It works to treat patients with low levels of corticosteroids by replacing steroids that are normally produced naturally by the body. It works to treat other conditions by reducing swelling and redness and by changing the way the immune system works.
Let us walk you through the key things you need to know about Prednisone.
How should I take prednisone (Orasone)?
Prednisone is usually taken with food one to four times a day or once every other day by mouth. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take prednisone exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often or for a longer period of time than prescribed by your doctor.
Swallow the delayed-release tablet whole; do not chew or crush it. Tell your doctor if your symptoms improve or get worse or if you get sick or have any changes in your health during your treatment.
Call your doctor if you experience any of the following or other unusual symptoms while you are taking decreasing doses of prednisone, or after you stop taking the medication. Do not stop taking treatment without talking to your doctor. You can help them by tracking your side effects in Ankr.
What are the side effects of prednisone (Orasone)?
Common side effects
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- Thin, fragile skin
- Red or purple blotches or lines under the skin
- Slow healing of cuts and bruises
- Increased hair growth
- Changes in the way fat is spread around the body
- Extreme tiredness
- Weak muscles
- Irregular or absent menstrual periods
- Decreased sexual desire
- Heartburn (GERD/Acid Reflux)
- Increased sweating
- Sore throat, fever, chills, cough, or other signs of infection
- Muscle twitching or tightening
- Numbness, burning, or tingling in the face, arms, legs, feet, or hands
- Upset stomach
- Vomiting (Emesis)
- Dry, hacking cough
- Sudden weight gain
- slow growth in children
- Osteoporosis (bone weakening)
Serious side effects
- Vision problems
- Dizziness (Vertigo)
- Inappropriate happiness
- Extreme changes in mood
- Changes in personality
- Bulging eyes
- Eye pain, redness, or tearing
- Loss of contact with reality
- Delirium (Confusion)
- Shaking of the hands that you cannot control
- Irregular heartbeat
- Shortness of breath, especially during the night
- Swelling or pain in the stomach
- Swelling of the eyes, face, lips, tongue, throat, arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Excessive itching (Pruritus)
Some patients who took prednisone or similar medications developed a type of cancer called Kaposi’s sarcoma. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking prednisone.
Prednisone may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while you are taking this medication. If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking prednisone (Orasone)
- tell your doctor about your allergies
- tell your doctor about other intakes
- tell your doctor if you have or ever had any other disease, symptom, or treatment
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding.
While you are on prednisone (Orasone)
- if you become pregnant while taking prednisone, call your doctor.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, or need emergency medical treatment, tell the doctor, dentist, or medical staff that you are taking or have recently stopped taking prednisone.
- you should know that prednisone may decrease your ability to fight infection and may prevent you from developing symptoms if you get an infection.
I forgot a dose. What should I do?
When you start to take prednisone, ask your doctor what to do if you forget to take a dose. Write down these instructions so that you can refer to them later. Call your doctor or pharmacist if you miss a dose and do not know what to do. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose.
In case of an emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
How should I safely store and dispose of prednisone (Orasone)?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
You should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Your doctor may instruct you to follow a low-salt, high potassium, or high calcium diet. Your doctor may also prescribe or recommend a calcium or potassium supplement. Follow these directions carefully.
Talk to your doctor about eating grapefruit and drinking grapefruit juice while you are taking this medication.
- Prednisone Intensol
- Sterapred® DS
This branded product is no longer on the market. Generic alternatives may be available.
Last Revised – 06/22/2023, FDA updated-03/15/2020, SG
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