Prednisone belongs to the class of corticosteroid medicines and is used for the treatment of conditions such as immune system disorders, arthritis, asthma, blood or bone marrow disorders, and severe allergic reactions. The use of these medicines is not limited to these conditions, it can also relieve the symptoms of several other health conditions like multiple sclerosis, lupus, certain types of cancers, skin conditions, Crohn’s disease, and many more conditions.
Those having low levels of corticosteroids in their body can use these medications, as Prednisone replaces steroids that are naturally produced in the body. The medicine treats all these conditions by altering the response of the immune system, thereby alleviating swelling, redness, and inflammation. During such conditions, the immune system might become overactive, but the effects of this medicine calm it down and ease the symptoms. It does so by blocking the release of chemicals that lead to inflammation.
These medicines come in the form of delayed-release tablets and a liquid solution that has to be consumed orally. The dose will depend on various factors such as the severity of the condition, age, chronic health issues, etc. While taking the tablet, you must swallow it with some water, without changing its form by crushing, chewing, or breaking it. Doing so will reduce its efficacy. The dose and schedule will be suggested by your doctor. You must follow their guidance carefully and also go through the information leaflet of the medicines.
Prednisone side effects
After taking the medicine, you might experience some symptoms of common side effects, which include:
- Restlessness and excitement
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sleep difficulty
- Weight gain
These symptoms are mild and they tend to go away in a few days or within a week. But if they continue to remain and bother you, it is better to see a doctor and get it treated.
Moreover, some serious side effects of the medicine are also possible in some individuals. The symptoms of these serious side effects are as follows:
- Eye pain
- Vision problems
- Severe allergic reactions, indicated by skin rash, itching, hives, and swelling of the face, tongue, lips, and throat.
- Extreme mood changes, indicated by anxiety and depression.
- Infection, indicated by fever, chills, trouble while urinating, cough, and sore throat.
- High blood sugar, indicated by symptoms like dizziness, tiredness, increased thirst, confusion, swelling of the feet and ankles, etc.
If any of these serious side effects occur, you must see your doctor immediately, as such symptoms require timely medical attention, otherwise the symptoms might exacerbate and cause trouble.
Note that, the list of side effects is not limited to this one. There can be side effects other than these that might occur in some individuals.
Prednisone and erectile dysfunction
Prednisone medications treat the symptoms of chronic inflammatory conditions, which block certain chemicals from causing inflammation and it also affect the release of other chemicals or hormones in the body. The effects of the medicine may interfere with testosterone production. It might decrease the levels of the testosterone hormone, which is a hormone that regulates sex drive or libido and sexual response in males. Lack of testosterone might decrease the sex drive and give rise to erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence issues. Thus, Prednisone might contribute to erectile dysfunction by changing testosterone levels in males.