Rheumatic disorders, blood disorders, and respiratory disorders are some of the conditions that can be treated with prednisone. Uses of the medication may also include the treatment of multiple sclerosis and gastrointestinal disease. The drug generally works by decreasing inflammation or suppressing an overactive immune system. From time to time, prednisone can also be used for "off-label" purposes (such as for the treatment of pulmonary fibrosis, seizures, or carpal tunnel syndrome).
What Is Prednisone Used For?
Prednisone is a prescription medication used for the treatment of a wide variety of conditions. It is part of a group of medications known as glucocorticoids, corticosteroids, or simply "steroids" for short. Specifically, prednisone has been licensed for the treatment of the following conditions:
- Hormonal (endocrine) disorders, such as adrenal insufficiency, high blood calcium (hypercalcemia) of cancer, or adrenal hyperplasia.
- Rheumatic disorders, such as psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, bursitis, gout, or osteoarthritis.
- Collagen disorders, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
- Skin disorders, such as severe allergic reactions, mycosis fungoides (a form of lymphoma), psoriasis, or seborrhea.
- Allergic conditions, including allergic reactions, asthma, and atopic dermatitis.
- Eye disorders, such as herpes eye infections, keratitis, and optic neuritis.
- Respiratory disorders, such as tuberculosis or pneumonia.
- Blood disorders, such as thrombocytopenia (low platelets) or anemia caused by immune system reactions.
- Relief of cancer symptoms due to leukemia or lymphoma.
- Fluid retention due to kidney problems or system lupus erythematosus.
- Gastrointestinal disease, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.
- Multiple sclerosis.
Preferably, prednisone is used short-term to treat these conditions until other treatments can help control symptoms. However, some people need to take prednisone indefinitely.