Steroid prednisone burst therapy

Inhaled Steroids (such as Flovent, Pulmicort, and Qvar): Inhaled steroids can be safely given daily for asthma maintenance control. Because the medication is only going to the lungs (where it is needed) and not to the rest of the body, none of the long-term side effects of oral steroids are experienced. There have been exhaustive studies demonstrating that inhaled steroids given daily are safe and effective, and are considered first line therapy for asthma maintenance. These medications generally take a week or more to reach maximal effectiveness. One should NEVER attempt to use these medications in place of a rescue inhaler for acute symptoms. Because these medications work slowly, we will often start patients on a 3-7 day oral steroid "burst." When the oral steroid is finished, we will often then start an inhaled steroid to safely continue daily anti-inflammatory maintenance therapy.

Prednisone is a drug that belongs to the corticosteroid drug class, and is an anti-inflammatory and immune system suppressant. It's used to treat a variety of diseases and conditions, for example: inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis), lupus, asthma, cancers, and several types of arthritis.

Common side effects are weight gain, headache, fluid retention, and muscle weakness. Other effects and adverse events include glaucoma, cataracts, obesity, facial hair growth, moon face, and growth retardation in children. This medicine also causes psychiatric problems, for example: depression, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes, and psychotic behavior. Serious side effects include reactions to diabetes drugs, infections, and necrosis of the hips and joints.

Corticosteroids like prednisone, have many drug interactions; examples include: estrogens, phenytoin (Dilantin), diuretics, warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven), and diabetes drugs. Prednisone is available as tablets of 1, , 10, 20, and 50 mg; extended release tablets of 1, 2, and 5mg; and oral solution of 5mg/5ml. It's use during the first trimester of pregnancy may cause cleft palate. This medicine is secreted in breast milk and can cause side effects in infants who are nursing. You should not stop taking prednisone abruptly because it can cause withdrawal symptoms and adrenal failure. Talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other medical professional if you have questions about beta-blockers. Talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other medical professional if you have questions about prednisone.

If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

There is a lot of talk about treating Rheumatoid Arthritis early with disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs). In recent years, there have even been several studies on very early treatment in attempts to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow a way to bring remission to more patients. Some researchers have shown that the use of low-dose steroids early in the disease increases the rate of remissions and improves clinical status. In the next post in this series, we’ll look closer at the use of low-dose prednisone in early Rheumatoid Arthritis .

As someone who lives with Crohn's disease, I have taken such prednisone bursts on many occasions, the longest of which was about a 50 mg / 10 day burst without any sort of taper afterwards. My GI specialist informed me that such treatment was perfectly OK in my case given my health status and age at the time (late 20s, early 30s at the time). He said that bursts in the elderly carry an increased risk as their natural adrenal production will be suppressed much more quickly by the prednisone than that of a younger person. Furthermore, recent periods of long-term steroid treatment can also reduce the time in which it takes for an individual's body to cease its natural adrenal production and as such must be taken into account. Your prescribing doctor will take all of these things into consideration when he prescribes the prednisone, so I wouldn't worry too much about it.

If you require short bursts of oral corticosteroids, you can be taken off of them by quickly decreasing the dose or at times even abruptly stopping the medications. In contrast, long term use of corticosteroids require slow, careful reduction in dosing. You may experience unpleasant side effects upon discontinuing short or long term oral corticosteroid administration. This is known as "steroid withdrawal." These adverse effects may include muscle aches, joint pains, fatigue, poor appetite, and even fever. When coming off corticosteroids, you may even be at risk for symptoms that were suppressed while on corticosteroids such as skin problems, hayfever, sinus symptoms, and arthritis-like symptoms. If you are at risk for "steroid withdrawal" symptoms, a slow taper over a long period of time may be necessary in addition to supplemental aspirin-like medication to relieve musculo-skeletal discomfort.
 

Steroid prednisone burst therapy

steroid prednisone burst therapy

As someone who lives with Crohn's disease, I have taken such prednisone bursts on many occasions, the longest of which was about a 50 mg / 10 day burst without any sort of taper afterwards. My GI specialist informed me that such treatment was perfectly OK in my case given my health status and age at the time (late 20s, early 30s at the time). He said that bursts in the elderly carry an increased risk as their natural adrenal production will be suppressed much more quickly by the prednisone than that of a younger person. Furthermore, recent periods of long-term steroid treatment can also reduce the time in which it takes for an individual's body to cease its natural adrenal production and as such must be taken into account. Your prescribing doctor will take all of these things into consideration when he prescribes the prednisone, so I wouldn't worry too much about it.

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