Prednisone: what is it for? Learn how to take and get sleepy

The use of corticosteroid medications is a habit present in the lives of some people.

They are generally used to obtain anti-inflammatory or immunosuppressive action in different clinical conditions.

Among the substances in this class of drugs is Prednisone, one of the most well-known corticosteroids because of its potential for treatment in various pathologies.


What is Prednisone?

Prednisone is a substance used as an active ingredient in the composition of some drugs with anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic and anti-allergic action.

It is used in the treatment of various pathologies that respond to corticosteroids, such as endocrine disorders, breathing problems, ophthalmic diseases, allergies, blood-related problems, skin diseases and even some types of cancer .

Its administration is made orally by means of tablets.

Is prednisone corticosteroids?

-Yeah . Prednisone is a corticosteroid medication .

Corticosteroids are hormones naturally produced by the adrenal glands and, among other things, are responsible for regulating the body’s metabolism.

In general, they have anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive potential (to mitigate exaggerated allergic responses).

Therefore, they are produced in a synthetic way in the laboratory and included in some medications, among them, Prednisone.

What is Prednisone for?

Prednisone is a medication used to treat different diseases that affect different parts of the body, such as bones, muscles, skin, eyes, blood, respiratory system, endocrine system, among others. It is used in the treatment of pathologies that respond to corticosteroids and also as palliative therapy in some neoplasms.

Specifically, Prednisone is used to:

Endocrine disorders

Diseases related to the endocrine system that can be treated with Prednisone are:

  • Non-suppurative thyroiditis – inflammation of the thyroid gland;
  • Hypercalcemia associated with cancer – high level of calcium in the blood;
  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia – alteration in the functioning of the adrenal glands;
  • Primary or secondary adrenocortical insufficiency – deficiency in the production of hormones.

Musculoskeletal disorders

Among the disorders related to the muscles and bones in which Prednisone can act are:

  • Fibrositis – pain and generalized stiffness in soft tissues and muscles;
  • Osteoarthritis – wear and tear of bone cartilage;
  • Complementary treatment of rheumatoid arthritis – inflammation of the joints;
  • Psoriatic arthritis  – inflammation of the skin and joints;
  • Ankylosing spondylitis – inflammation of the spine and large joints;
  • Acute gouty arthritis – changes in the levels of uric acid in the blood that cause inflammation of the joints;
  • Acute and subacute bursitis – inflammation of the bursae;
  • Epicondylitis – irritation of the tissue that connects the forearm muscle to the elbow;
  • Tenosynovitis – inflammation of the tendon tissue that connects the muscle to the bone;
  • Myositis – inflammation of the muscles.

Allergic disorders

The drug can be used to treat some allergies. Between them:

  • Allergic rhinitis ;
  • Bronchial asthma ;
  • Contact dermatitis – skin inflammation due to contact with substances;
  • Atopic dermatitis – itchy skin inflammation;
  • Nasal polyp – benign tumor in the mucosa of the nose;
  • Drug reactions .

Hematological disorders

Hematological disorders are those that are related to blood. Among the problems of this type, Prednisone can act in:

  • Idiopathic thrombocytopenia – a disease characterized by low levels of platelets in the blood;
  • Acquired hemolytic anemia – attack by the body itself on red blood cells;
  • Erythroblastopenia – absence or decrease of erythroblasts, a type of red blood cell, in the bone marrow;
  • Congenital hypoplastic anemia – reduction of blood cells in the bone marrow.

Neoplastic disorders

Neoplasm is the uncontrolled proliferation of cells, which can become a cancer (malignant neoplasm) or not. Prednisone can act as a palliative treatment in some cases. They are:

  • Leukemia in adults ;
  • Lymphoma in adults ;
  • Acute leukemia in children .

Collagen diseases

Collagen is a protein produced by the body, which has the function of keeping cells together.

Prednisone medication can be used in some cases of collagen-related diseases. They are:

  • Acute rheumatic carditis – changes in the heart due to rheumatic fever;
  • Polymyositis – inflammatory and degenerative muscle disease;
  • Dermatomyositis – inflammatory disease that causes muscle weakness and skin rashes;
  • Maintenance treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus – inflammatory disease.

Dermatological diseases

Some dermatological diseases, that is, related to the dermis, can be treated by the medication. They are:

  • Pemphigus – blisters on the skin and mucous membranes;
  • Bullous herpetiform dermatitis – rashes on the skin;
  • Severe erythema multiforme – inflammatory skin disorder;
  • Exfoliative dermatitis – inflammation of the skin;
  • Mycosis fungoides – skin lymphoma;
  • Severe seborrheic dermatitis – inflammation that causes peeling and redness of the skin;
  • Severe psoriasis – reddish lesions and peeling skin.

Ophthalmic diseases

The ophthalmic diseases that can be treated with Prednisone are:

  • Allergic conjunctivitis ;
  • Keratitis – inflammation of the cornea;
  • Corneal marginal allergic ulcer – corneal tissue injury;
  • Ophthalmic herpes zoster – viral infection in the eyes;
  • Iritis – inflammation of the iris;
  • Iridocyclitis – inflammation of the iris and ciliary body;
  • Chorioretinitis – inflammatory process of the uveal tract of the eye;
  • Diffuse posterior uveitis and choroiditis – inflammation of the middle layer of the eye;
  • Optic neuritis – inflammation of the optic nerve;
  • Sympathetic ophthalmia – inflammation of the uveal tract;
  • Inflammation of the anterior segment .

Respiratory diseases

Some diseases can affect the respiratory system. Prednisone can be used to treat:

  • Symptomatic sarcoidosis – inflammation of organs such as the lung;
  • Loeffler syndrome – accumulation of eosinophils in the lung;
  • Berylliosis – pulmonary inflammation;
  • Disseminated or fulminant pulmonary tuberculosis .

How to take Prednisone according to the package insert?

According to the package leaflet, the medication should be ingested with liquid in the morning. The dosage may vary according to the patient’s clinical condition and physical characteristics.

In general, the starting dose for adults can vary between 5mg and 60mg daily. For children, on the other hand, it varies between 0.14mg to 2mg / kg of weight per day.

After achieving a favorable response, in general, the doctor will reduce the dosage until the maintenance dose is reached, that is, the lowest dose with an adequate clinical response.

How long does Prednisone take effect?

According to the package insert, the onset of action of the medication Prednisone is fast and its effects can be observed, in general, 1 hour after administration.

Despite this, the time for the symptoms to disappear may vary according to each clinical case and objective of using the medication, that is, the treatment to be performed.

How many in how many hours can it take?

The indication for use of Prednisone must be made by the responsible physician and may vary according to the clinical condition of each person.

In general, the professional will be able to guide the administration once a day or use it on alternate days.

Read more: Why is corticoid fattening?

What are the side effects of Prednisone?

Like other medications, Prednisone can cause side effects in some people, causing changes in the functioning of organs such as: bones, muscles, digestive system, nervous system, eye area, skin and even psychiatric changes. Among the main reactions are:

Skin changes :

  • Redness;
  • Delay in healing;
  • Red or purplish stains;
  • Excessive sweating;
  • Allergic dermatitis;
  • Urticaria;
  • Thin skin;
  • Swelling.

Changes in bones and muscles :

  • Muscle weakness;
  • Loss of muscle mass;
  • Muscle disease;
  • Tendon rupture;
  • Long bone fracture;
  • Spinal compression fractures;
  • Osteoporosis – decreased calcium in the bones;
  • Myasthenia gravis worsening – a disease that causes weakness and rapid fatigue of the muscles.

Changes in the stomach and intestine :

  • Abdominal distension;
  • Ulcerative esophagitis;
  • Peptic ulcer;
  • Perforation or bleeding in the stomach.

Changes in metabolism :

  • Protein loss.

Changes in the nervous system :

  • Convulsions;
  • Dizziness;
  • Headache;
  • Increased pressure inside the skull.

Changes in the glands :

  • Menstrual irregularities;
  • Reduced tolerance to carbohydrates;
  • Suppression of fetal or infant growth;
  • Manifestation of diabetes mellitus ;
  • Increased need for insulin in diabetic patients.

Eye changes :

  • Increased pressure within the eyes;
  • Glaucoma;
  • Eyes bulged;
  • Blurred vision;
  • Cataract on the back of the lens.

Hydroelectrolytic changes :

  • Sodium retention;
  • Loss of potassium;
  • Increased blood pH;
  • Increased blood pressure;
  • Fluid retention;
  • Low levels of potassium;
  • Insufficiency of heart functions in sensitive patients.

Despite the reactions listed, it is worth remembering that each organism reacts differently to the use of the medication. That way, not all people will necessarily suffer from the side effects.

Will Prednisona give me?

-Yeah . Although it is not a side effect described in the package leaflet, the use of Prednisone can cause drowsiness.

Prednisone is a corticoid, that is, a synthetic hormone. This class of medication can, in some cases, cause changes in sleep, causing insomnia or excessive sleep.

Prednisone fattening?

It depends . Medication can cause weight gain, however, in general, only if the administration is carried out for long periods. This is because, in general, the substance can increase appetite and cause fluid retention.

The use of Prednisone for specific problems is usually done in short periods of time, being prescribed for a maximum of 10 days.

In that case, there is not enough time for the side effect of weight gain.

However, when the use is made in the long term, that is, in periods of more than 30 days, the medication can cause the condition.

In addition, the constant use of Prednisone can facilitate the accumulation of fat in the body and the loss of muscle mass, resulting in elevation.

What is the difference between Prednisone and Prednisolone?

Both Prednisone and Prednisolone are corticosteroid drugs and both have similar indications and effects. However, these substances have a difference between them.

The Prednisone is inactive form of the medication, or needs to be activated by the body to take effect.

When it is activated, it turns into Prednisolone, which will act to combat pathologies.

Thus, Prednisone is a prodrug of Prednisolone.

Pro-drugs are drugs administered inactive in the body and, after ingested, they need to go through a transformation process to become active, that is, to have an effect.

In the case of Prednisone, the substance passes through the liver, the organ in which the transformation takes place to become Prednisolone.

Already Prednisolone is a substance that does not require this pre-conversion, ie, the passage through the liver for activation.

It is a drug that is administered already active, so the medicine already has biological activity.

Despite having similar effects, the indication for use may vary according to the patient’s clinical condition.

People who have problems with liver function, for example, usually receive the indication of Prednisolone, in which it is not necessary to pass through the liver.

What is the average price?

The price of Prednisone may vary according to the geographic region, establishment of purchase and brand suggested in the prescription.

There are different categories of the drug, including reference, generic and similar.

They can be found in physical pharmacies and online and, if there is a need to compare prices, it is possible to use the Consulta Remédios website , which indicates the values ​​of medicines in several pharmacies in each region.

The options and prices are:


Reference drugs are those that originated the medication formula. Its effectiveness, safety and quality are scientifically proven and approved by Anvisa.

Prednisone’s reference is Meticorten, manufactured by Merck Sharp & Dohme – a pharmaceutical company.

It can be found, in general, from *:

  • Meticorten 20mg, box with 10 pills – R $ 19.56;
  • Meticorten 5mg, box with 20 pills – R $ 14.16.

* Prices consulted in May 2020. Prices may change.


Generic drugs are those that have the same active ingredient, dose, pharmaceutical form, indication and route of administration as the reference, but without the commercial nomenclature.

Thus, it is marketed by the name of the active ingredient.

Some generic options for Prednisolone and values ​​*, are from:

  • Prednisone EMS 5mg, box with 20 pills – R $ 4.36;
  • Prednisone Nova Química 5mg, box of 20 pills – R $ 3.05
  • Prednisone Legrand 20mg, box of 10 pills – R $ 3.04
  • Prednisone Medley 20mg, box with 10 pills – R $ 4.14.

* Prices consulted in May 2020. Prices may change.


Similar are the drugs that have the same efficacy and effect as the reference, however, they may have different excipients, expiration date, labeling and product size, for example.

Prednisone’s similar options and their values ​​* include:

* Prices consulted in May 2020. Prices may change.

Several drugs are prescribed for patients every day, being useful in combating various pathologies.

For safe use, in addition to medical guidance, it is important to know its indications, effects and adverse reactions, so that the administration is done correctly.

This is because some medications, such as Prednisone, have a large amount of side effects, which can manifest themselves and even be intensified if the use is done in the wrong way.

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