What should I know about prednisone before taking it?

Prednisone is an effective drug, but it is not without risks. Do not use prednisone if you are pregnant, planning a pregnancy during treatment or breastfeeding without talking to your doctor. Tell your doctor if you currently have or have a history of liver disease, muscle disorders, mental illness, thyroid disorders, kidney disease, diabetes, malaria, osteoporosis, digestive problems, an infection anywhere in your body within the past few months, eye problems, tuberculosis, heart disease or high blood pressure, as your prednisone dose may need to be modified. Prednisone can have adverse affects on growing children. It can weaken the immune system, making you more vulnerable to infection.

Prednisone interacts with a number of drugs, so it's very important to tell your doctor what medications (both prescription and over-the-counter) and supplements you are taking. Known drug interactions can happen with diabetes medications, seizure medications, aspirin, diuretics, blood thinners (e.g., Coumadin), cyclosporine, Nizoral and rifampin. You should not drink alcohol if you are taking prednisone. Withdrawal symptoms can occur after the drug is discontinued.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.