Video:Side Effects of Prednisonewith Dr. Bob Lahita
Prednisone is used to treat inflammatory conditions, like IBS and Crohn's. However, there are some side effects. Before you start taking it, learn more about prednisone with this About.com video.See Transcript
Transcript:Side Effects of Prednisone
Hi I'm Dr. Bob Lahita, Chairman of Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Professor of Medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. In this segment, we're going to talk about the side effects of Prednisone,specifically the side effects of prednisone in people who use a lot of prednisone, such as with inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn's disease, and/or ulcerative colitis.
Prednisone's Side Effects
In both of those conditions, prednisone or cortisone is often prescribed. They are wonderful drugs - the most potent anti-inflammatory drugs on the planet; however, they have significant side effects.
Some of their side effects are:
- thinning of the hair, a moon face (which we call Cushing's syndrome)
- stripes on the body- in the folds of the body, pigmentation
- thinning of the skin
- resorption of bone with consequent osteoperosis (when taken over a long time)
- cataracts of the eyes
- swallowing difficulty
- development of diabetes
- causes immunodeficiency leading to increased risk of infection.
- You can also have the development of huge amounts of fat around the body which reflect your ingestion of cortico-steroids over a long period.
Weening Off Predinose is Necessary
It's the wish of every doctor to get most patients off of prednisone or cortico-steroids as rapidly as possible. There are a couple of important points to make. People who are on chronic prednisone use for inflammatory conditions like Crohn's and ulcerative colitis should be tapered with regard to their use of prednisone.
This is one of those drugs that you do not stop abruptly. Why? Because you have two glands over the kidneys called the adrenal glands that make natural amounts of cortisone. We all have them and we use them all the time, especially during stressful periods. Actually, our cortisone levels fluctuate between morning and night, so the levels change over the day. When you take prednisone by mouth, those glands get inhibited, they think they're producing cortisone,so they turn their production off and they oftentimes atrophy or shrink.
So when you are on a dose of prednisone, you need to lower the dose very gradually to tell the adrenal glands that they have to kick in again and make your own level of cortisone or as we know it - prednisone. For more information about this, go to About.com.