Key Points About
Prednisone is a Glucocorticoid
steroid prescribed for a wide-range
of conditions, including Gout.
Prednisone is used as an
anti-inflammatory and/or an
Steroids can weaken your
immune system and make it easier
for you to get an infection
Patients with liver or kidney
disease, heart disease, diabetes, or
other serious health conditions
should consider other
Gout treatment options
Steroids can cause serious
side effects that should be
discussed with your doctor
Is Prednisone (Deltasone) a Safe and Effective Gout Treatment?
PREDNISONE (Deltasone) is being prescribed for gout more and more these days. This immunosuppressive drug, though necessary in some cases, is associated with serious long-term side effects such as cataracts, bone loss, weakening of the immune system, and many others.
One of the most serious complications from prednisone is the risk of osteoporosis, which occurs from the bone loss.
The most commonly reported side effects are increased acid in the stomach, sodium retention, delayed healing, decreased ability to fight infection, bone and muscle problems, acne, night sweats, increased sugar in the blood, and thrush (yeast growth in the mouth which is a very strong indication of the lack of good bacteria in the body- sources strongly needed to fight infection).
Corticosteroid medications, such as the drug prednisone, may control gout inflammation and pain. Corticosteroids may be administered in pill form, or they can be injected into your joint.
Corticosteroids are generally reserved for people who can't take either NSAIDs or colchicine.
Reduced Cortisol Levels (by Livestrong.com)
Prednisone has the general effect of suppressing the function of the adrenal glands, thereby reducing the levels of hormones secreted by the adrenal glands. Cortisol, a hormone that plays an important role in the body's response to stress, is greatly suppressed even after taking low doses of prednisone, according to a study published in the 2006 issue of "Alternative Medicine Review." Low levels of cortisol have been known to cause many symptoms, including chronic fatigue and weakness, weight loss, stomach upset, vomiting, headache and low blood pressure leading to dizziness and fainting, reports the National Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Information Service.
Several other hormones regulated by the adrenal glands are also suppressed by prednisone, including cortisone, dehydroepiandrosterone, androsterone, aldosterone and tetrahydrocorticosterone, reports Alternative Medicine Review. The suppression of these hormones has several different effects. For example, dehydroepiandrosterone, abbreviated DHEA, is involved in regulating hormones involved in reproduction, brain function and the immune response. Suppression of DHEA may reduce the levels of sex hormones, weaken the bones, reduce the immune response and affect moods and mental functioning. People taking prednisone may sometimes also be prescribed DHEA to counteract these effects.
A person who is taking prednisone should never suddenly stop taking the medication. Because prednisone is a hormone that alters the body's delicate balance of hormones, suddenly removing prednisone from the equation can cause a temporary case of secondary adrenal insuffciency, which is sometime called an adrenal crisis, explains MedlinePlus. An adrenal crisis can cause many of the same symptoms as low cortisol levels, including fatigue, abdominal or side pain, nausea and vomiting, fever, low blood pressure and loss of appetite. Doctors usually gradually reduce the dosage of prednisone before completely stopping the medication to reduce these effects.
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