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Prednisone: anti-inflammatory, anti-shock, anti-allergic steroidPrednisone is a synthetic analog of cortisone that suppresses inflammation, allergic reactions and an overactive immune system. Discover the most common indications for it and rules of usage


Prednisone has been utilized in medical practice since the middle of the XX century. This medicine is helpful for patients with adrenal insufficiency, diseases of connective tissues, blood and skin issues and numerous other health problems. However, it belongs to the prescription group and requires a responsible attitude and the intake of carefully selected doses. Let’s unveil the most important information about this remedy.

The creation and main effects

This synthetic medicine belongs to the group of glucocorticoid hormones and can be utilized parenterally, orally and for local purposes. It was created based on the structure of cortisone but this molecule does not contain fluorine atom. Prednisone was successfully synthesized for the first time in the middle of the XX century. Since that time, it has been widely used in clinical practice. The medicine possesses anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects, cures shock condition and allergy.

The most common indications for usage

This remedy belongs to the prescription group and is utilized in the next cases: • adrenal insufficiency; • hypoglycemic conditions (low blood sugar); • systemic illnesses of connective tissue, such as rheumatism, lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, periarteritis, dermatomyositis and Bekhterev’s disease; • diseases of the blood, including hemolytic anemia, lymphogranulomatosis, agranulocytosis and granulocytopenia and leukemias; • skin issues, such as eczema, exudative erythema, erythroderma, psoriasis, alopecia and seborrheic dermatitis; • for the patients with the hormonal system disorders. Oral prednisone is also used in the therapy of the respiratory system (bronchial asthma and sarcoidosis). The list of available dosage forms includes pills of 0.001; 0.002; 0.0025; 0.005; 0.01; 0.02 and 0.05 g, solution for oral use with the concentration of 5 mg/5 ml in bottles of 30, 120 and 500 ml, and rectal suppositories of 100 mg. The dosage and duration of the course are selected individually by a doctor.

Adverse reactions

When using prednisone, the following adverse effects are possible: • Various skin reactions, including bruises, thinning of the skin, hyper- or hypopigmentation, loss of hair or its thick growth on the body. • Digestive system issues like pain in the epigastrium, pancreatitis, steroid ulcers of the organs of the digestive tract. • Nervous system issues, including mental disorders. • Steroid cataract and latent glaucoma. • Arterial hypertension. • The endocrine system may react with impaired glucose tolerance, diabetes, menstrual cycle disorders, growth retardation and delayed sexual development in children, suppression of the pituitary-adrenal system, Cushing’s disease, obesity, delayed removal of water and salts from the body and hypokalemia. • After long period of intake, the musculoskeletal system may suffer from osteoporosis, muscle atrophy, aseptic osteonecrosis and bone fractures. Other possible side effects include a decrease in the work of the immune system, a violation of the leukocyte formula, fragility of blood vessels, enhanced blood clotting and slowed healing of wounds. Such reactions are reported rarely and often as a result of prolonged intake. Therefore, the therapy should be controlled by a doctor who’ll be able to notice the first warning symptoms and correct the dosage or regimen of the intake.


An absolute contraindication for this remedy is increased sensitivity to it. As for relative contraindications to the long use, they include: • peptic ulcer disease; • osteoporosis; • Cushing’s disease; • renal failure; • severe arterial hypertension; • severe glaucoma; • systemic mycoses; • tendency to thromboembolism; • active tuberculosis and viral infections; • period after vaccination; • symptoms of mental illnesses. In these situations, a doctor decides individually on the need and possibilities of the usage of this remedy.


Prednisone possesses high anti-inflammatory properties combined with anti-shock, anti-allergic and immunosuppressive effects. That is why it is quite useful for the cure of many diseases, especially when the immune system attacks the body from the inside. Still, the specialist should consider possible side effects and select a mode of therapy that will be beneficial for the patient.

ONLY FLU SHOTS THIS SEASON (click here to find out why)

Where can I get a flu shot? 

Adults can get a flu shot without a prescription at most local pharmacies. Click here to use our pharmacy locator. Then use the Advanced Search and select flu shots.

When you go to the pharmacy, ask them to bill UM Health Partners. But, be sure to take your photo ID and your UM Health Partners member ID card. Please note that you must go to a pharmacy counter and not a pharmacy clinic.

What is Influenza (also called Flu)? 

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine by the end of October, if possible.

Who should get the flu vaccine? 

  • Children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years old
  • Adults greater than 50 years old
  • Women who are or are planning to be pregnant during the flu season
  • Individuals who are of American Indians/Alaska Native ancestries
  • People with one or more of these conditions:

    – Cancer

    – Cardiac disorder except isolated high blood pressure

    – Chronic lung disease, including Asthma

    – Heart Disease, including a prior stroke

    – Blood disorder

    – HIV/AIDS

    – Metabolic disorder, including Diabetes

    – Neurologic disorder

    – Renal disorder

  • Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  • Individuals who are extremely obese (BMI ≥40)
  • Individuals who are caregivers or in contact with one or more of the following:

    – Health care personnel, including students who have contact with patients

    – Medical emergency-response workers

    – Employees of nursing home and long-term care facilities who have contact with residents

    – Household contacts and caregivers of anyone who meet the categories listed above.

Source: and

What are the signs and symptoms of flu? 

People who have the flu often feel some or all of these signs and symptoms:

  • Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough Sore throat Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches Headaches Fatigue (very tired)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

How does the flu spread? 

Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes or possibly their nose. Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. Serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year.

What is the difference between a cold and the flu? 

The flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses but they are caused by different viruses. Because these two types of illnesses have similar symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. In general, the flu is worse than the common cold, and symptoms are more common and intense. Colds are usually milder than the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations. Flu can have very serious associated complications.

How can you tell the difference between a cold and the flu? 

Because colds and flu share many symptoms, it can be difficult (or even impossible) to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Special tests that usually must be done within the first few days of illness can tell if a person has the flu.

What are the symptoms of the flu versus the symptoms of a cold? 

The symptoms of flu can include fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue (tiredness). Cold symptoms are usually milder than the symptoms of flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Influenza (Flu)