Prednisone is one of the more popular drugs now used to treat conditions such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. The drug is administered either through the oral route or via intramuscular injections by some doctors. Prednisone is used to treat conditions such as extremely severe asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, some kidney diseases and severe poison ivy inflammation. Prednisone is a corticosteroid drug that is also well known for the side effects that it induces in patients. As the drug is designed to specifically affect the body’s entire immune system, some researchers are looking at this as one of the reasons as to why it induces so many side effects in patients.
Common side effects that arise from the use of prednisone include severe nervousness and restlessness, difficulty in digestion and a much larger appetite. Prednisone is also know to cause a number of less-common side effects, such as feeling the sensation of spinning, akin to vertigo, dizziness or lightheadedness, changes in the skin such as a sudden darkening or lightening of skin tone and color, immediate flushing of the cheek and face areas, and hiccups. Side effects that have been reported to arise on certain rare occasions include increased thirst, increased urination, and difficulty in focusing one’s vision. Prednisone also induces the following side effects in a small percentage of patients. These symptoms, while extremely rare, should not be overlooked because they are related to the patient’s mood – the patient may feel highly excitable, may hallucinate or act confused about certain information that he should already know, suffer depression, sudden mood swings, and the feeling that one is being mistreated by others, or have a false sense of security.
Prolonged use of prednisone can have long term, debilitating side effects on a patient. Continued prednisone use can result in constant abdominal or back pain, black stool, muscle weakness, cramps, nausea, eye pain and acne. Other side effects include the appearance of reddish-purple lines on the trunk and arms areas, as well as the groin and legs. A number of vision problems may occur, including eye redness, heightened eye sensitivity, and sudden changes in vision.
Preventing these side effects involves changing a few things.
- In your regular diet, ensure that you have more than enough calcium in your body. The presence of high levels of calcium in your body will help it resist the side effects during the course of your prednisone treatment.
- Cut down on salt in your diet, as too much salt has a direct effect on how often and how much you urinate.
- There are also certain times of the day when your body is more resistant to the side effects that arise from using the drug. You should consult your doctor on what the best possible times to take the prednisone dosage are as well.
- Finally, in order to deal with the mood swings associated with prednisone, you will need the support of your immediate family. Help them understand that there are a number of changes that you will have to go through while you are under treatment.