Home > Medications > Prednisone

September 2019 | Medications

What is it?

Prednisone will decrease the inflammation in your kidneys so they can function better.

Why did my doctor prescribe or recommend it?

Healthy kidneys filter out excess water, salts and waste products from the blood in our body. They do this through many tiny filters that the blood flows through. You have a kidney disease because your immune system is damaging these tiny filters causing them to stop working.

How does it work?

Prednisone decreases your body’s immune response to make the kidney disease less active before the inflammation leads to permanent kidney damage.

What doses are recommended?

Take this medication as recommended by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition, weight, response to therapy and the side effects you experience.

How do I take it?

Prednisone should be taken in the morning with food and a full glass of water. If you forget a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s already time for your next dose, skip the missed one and take the dose for that day. Do not double your dose. Do not stop taking prednisone suddenly. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before stopping.

Are there any side effects?

  • Stomach upset may occur with this medication. Taking your prednisone with food can really help with this side effect.
  • You may experience changes in mood (mood swings, anxiety and depression) at higher doses. Be on the lookout for any mood swings. If it becomes bothersome, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Your face and cheeks may become more round. This effect will disappear after the prednisone has stopped, although it may take several months after stopping to disappear completely.
  • Insomnia can also occur while taking prednisone.
  • Take you prednisone in the morning with breakfast.
  • You may notice skin changes (thin skin, acne, bruising) and slow wound healing. If you get any sores, wounds or bruises, make sure to keep the area clean and watch for signs of infection (pus, oozing, redness) since it’ll take longer for your body to heal.
  • Your appetite may increase and you may gain weight while taking this medication. Having a healthy diet can help prevent any weight gain while taking this medication.
  • Prednisone can also cause swollen feet and ankles and may increase your blood pressure.
  • Monitor your blood pressure regularly and let your doctor know of any changes. Also watch the swelling in your feet and ankles. If it becomes bothersome, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Prednisone can weaken your bones and cause osteoporosis. We will start you on calcium, vitamin D supplement and a prescription pill (alendronate (Fosamax), risendronate (Actonel), or etidronate (Didrocal)) to prevent bone loss if you are to be on prednisone for a long time.

Are there any precautions I should be taking?

  • Prednisone puts you at a higher risk of infection (infections from fungus and viruses may occur).             
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Avoid contact with people who have colds, the flu or other infections if possible. Watch for fever, chills, sore throat, fuzzy coating in your mouth or any other signs of infection. Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of these signs.
  • Check with your doctor before having any vaccinations, surgery or dental work.
  • Prednisone can increase blood sugar.
  • We will monitor your blood sugar on your bloodwork. Some people may require treatment with pills or insulin for high blood sugars while on prednisone.
  • If you have diabetes: Monitor your blood sugar levels closely. You may see an increase in your levels. Contact the Renal Health Clinic if you notice changes in your readings.

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