Prednisone is under a class of medications called corticosteroids. It works by suppressing the immune system which results in a decrease in the inflammatory reaction within the GI tract.
Prednisone is used for the short-term treatment of symptoms but has no benefit for long term maintenance as it has no effect in preventing flares. Once symptoms settle significantly, the dose of prednisone is slowly reduced to zero.
This medication comes in pill form and should be taken once daily in the morning.
The body naturally produces a steroid called cortisol by the adrenal glands. When taking prednisone, the normal cortisol production in the body will decrease. Once prednisone is stopped, cortisol production will resume but it will start slowly. Therefore, it is important to slowly wean off this medication to prevent any withdrawal symptoms.
A typical starting dose will be 40mg. Take this amount for 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, you can slowly decrease the dose by 5mg every week. When you reach 20mg, you should then decrease your dose by 2.5mg every week until off. Speak to your doctor prior to weaning off your medication.
Steroids work relatively quickly and benefits can be seen in as little as 7 days.
Prednisone can be taken during pregnancy. However, family planning should be discussed with the doctor for more information.
The following is a list of potential side effects. Many side effects increase with the long-term use of steroids: