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Prednisone (By mouth)

Prednisone (PRED-ni-sone)

Treats inflammation (swelling), severe allergies, complications of chronic illnesses, and other medical problems. Also used to decrease some symptoms of cancer. This medicine is a steroid.

Brand Name(s):

Deltasone, PredniSONE Intensol, Prednicot, Rayos, Sterapred DS

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to prednisone or if you are pregnant.

How to Use This Medicine:

Liquid, Tablet, Delayed Release Tablet

  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
  • It is best to take this medicine with food or milk.
  • Swallow the delayed-release tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not freeze the oral liquid.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you also use aminoglutethimide (Cytadren®), amphotericin B (Fungizone®), carbamazepine (Tegretol®), cholestyramine (Questran®), cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®), digoxin (Digitek®, Lanoxin®), ephedrine (including diet pills), isoniazid (Nydrazid®), ketoconazole (Nizoral®), pancuronium (Pavulon®), phenobarbital, phenytoin (Dilantin®), rifampin (Rifadin®, Rimactane®), certain antibiotics (such as azithromycin, clarithromycin, erythromycin, Zithromax®), or estrogen (including birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy).
  • Tell your doctor if you also use a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®, Jantoven®), an NSAID pain or arthritis medicine (such as aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil®, Aleve®, Celebrex®, Voltaren®), a diuretic (water pills, such as spironolactone, triamterene Aldactone®), insulin or diabetes medicine that you take by mouth (such as glimepiride, glyburide, metformin, Actos®, Janumet®, Januvia®), or medicine for myasthenia gravis (such as pyridostigmine, Mestinon®, Regonol®).
  • This medicine may interfere with vaccines. Ask your doctor before you get a flu shot or any other vaccines.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding or if you have kidney problems, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, a recent heart attack, adrenal problems (such as Cushing syndrome), diabetes, glaucoma, cataracts, osteoporosis, a herpes simplex eye infection, myasthenia gravis, thyroid problems, a history of tuberculosis, or any other type of infection. Tell your doctor if you have had mental or emotional problems (such as depression) or stomach or bowel problems (such as ulcers, colitis, or diverticulitis).
  • Your risk of adrenal gland problems increases if you use this medicine for a long time or when you are under stress. Talk to your doctor right away if you have more than one of these symptoms while you are using this medicine: blurred vision, dizziness or fainting, a fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat, increased thirst or urination, or unusual tiredness or weakness. Also tell your doctor about any extra stress or anxiety in your life, including other health concerns and emotional stress. Your dose might need to be changed for a short time.
  • This medicine could cause you to get infections more easily. Tell your doctor right away if you have a fever or other signs of an infection such as fever, chills, headache, swelling, or redness. If you are exposed to chicken pox or measles, tell your doctor right away. Avoid people who are sick, and wash your hands often.
  • This medicine may cause mood or behavior changes. Talk with your doctor if you notice any unusual changes in your mood or behavior, have mood swings, or have trouble sleeping.
  • Tell your doctor if you have any bone pain. If your child is using this medicine, tell the doctor if you think your child is not growing properly. This medicine can cause slow growth in children or osteoporosis in anyone if it is used for a long time.
  • Check with your doctor right away if you have blurred vision, trouble seeing, eye pain, or any other changes in vision. You may need to be checked by an eye doctor.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Color changes on the skin, dark freckles, bruising
  • Depression, unusual thoughts, feelings, or behaviors
  • Fast, slow, or uneven heartbeat
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches
  • Headache, changes in vision, or eye pain or swelling
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • Muscle pain or weakness
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet
  • Rapid weight gain, swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
  • Seizures
  • Severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or red or black stools
  • Trouble breathing, cold sweat, bluish-colored skin

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Increased appetite
  • Mood changes or trouble sleeping
  • Round, puffy face
  • Weight gain around your neck, upper back, breast, face, or waist

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 7/4/2014

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