Steroids for treatment include prednisone, a synthetic corticosteroid that suppresses the immune system and the release of certain types of materials in the body that cause inflammation, arthritis, bowel disease and allergies. Prednisone was discovered by Arthur Nobile in the 1950s and transformed the course of medication for arthritis.
Prednisone is used to treat a variety of ailments including lupus, multiple sclerosis, skin conditions such as psoriasis and breathing disorders like asthma. The drug is processed by the liver and converted into prednisolone. Although it’s highly effective and inexpensive, there are potential side effects to be considered before undertaking treatment.
Prednisone is commonly prescribed to treat children suffering from asthma attacks, croup, poison ivy, and allergic reactions. It is also used to treat children with arthritis, acute leukemia, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, adrenocortical insufficiency, and nephrotic syndrome.
Long-Term Effects of Steroids
Long-term use of Prednisone or any steroid, can lead to bone loss, especially for smokers. Your risk is higher if you live a sedentary lifestyle, a family history of osteoporosis, and are lacking in a sufficient amount of vitamin D or calcium in your diet. You may also experience personality changes, body fluid shifts, muscle atrophy, and immunosuppression. Because of these harmful effects, doctors only prescribe for short periods of time.
Prednisone is also used to treat inflammatory conditions that afflict dogs, as well as Addison’s disease, and when they’re in need of an organ transplant. It’s important for owners to look into the side effects of Prednisone in dogs. Dogs taking high doses of this medication will have a suppressed immune system, which will slow healing time for any other illnesses or injuries suffered.
Dogs will experience negative effects of the medication as well. These include panting, vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy, with an increase in hunger, thirst, and urination.
Long terms and large doses of the medication increase the risk of negative effects, such as aggressive behavior, Cushing’s disease, and ulcers forming in the digestive tract. Treatments for dogs are usually short term, and in cases of long-term, they are monitored for signs of liver or kidney disease, in which case the medication is stopped and issues are usually resolved.
Side Effects of Prednisone
The following are some of the negative effects that may occur during Prednisone treatment: swelling and weight gain, insomnia, mood swings, increased appetite, acne or dry skin and skin discoloration, excessive sweating, headache, dizziness, spinning sensation, nausea, stomach ache, and bloating.
Get emergency medical assistance immediately if you experience any of the following allergic reactions: hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat, severe pain in your upper stomach, bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood, severe depression, changes in personality or behavior, confusion, severe headache, chest pain, vision problems, or eye pain.
While taking prednisone, your immune system may weaken, so you should not be in close proximity to people who are sick or have infections. If you have any type of fungal infection, don’t use this medication. You should always ween yourself off of Prednisone; don’t stop use suddenly.
The Role of Digital Health in Immunosuppression
Technology nowadays is nearly touching every aspect of our lives; so using technology to support one’s immunosuppression could be a wise idea. Digital pills for instance are able to tell doctors whether a patient is taking his/her medications as prescribed. “About half of all people don’t take medications like they’re supposed to,” says Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla,California. “This device could be a solution to that problem, so that doctors can know when to rev up a patient’s medication adherence. It’s like big brother watching you take your medicine.”
For example, transplant patients often have to take immunosuppressive drugs for a long time period after surgery, and digital bills could be a crucial part in improving their immunosuppression in this case.