Prednisone Warnings and Precautions
Prior to taking prednisone, let your healthcare provider know if you have diabetes, liver disease, or high blood pressure, among other conditions. You should not take prednisone if you have a systemic fungal infection or are allergic to any components of the drug. Be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about these or any other prednisone warnings and precautions that may apply to you.
Prednisone: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking prednisone if you have:
- A systemic fungal infection (a fungal infection affecting the whole body)
- Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
- Liver disease, such as liver failure or cirrhosis
- Any sign of an infection
- An ulcer
- Myasthenia gravis
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Kidney disease, including kidney failure (renal failure)
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
You should also make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Precautions and Warnings With Prednisone
Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking prednisone include:
- People taking prednisone (especially people with adrenal problems) who are exposed to unusual stress may temporarily need a higher prednisone dose. Talk with your healthcare provider about adjusting your prednisone dose in times of stress.
- Prednisone can weaken the immune system, putting you at a higher risk of infections and making if more difficult for your body to fight infections. Tell your healthcare provider if you have signs or symptoms of an infection -- such as or chills or a fever -- while you are taking prednisone.
- Prednisone can cause eye problems, including cataracts, glaucoma, vision changes, and other problems. Let your healthcare provider know if you notice any changes in your eyes or vision during treatment with prednisone.
- In most cases, you should not stop prednisone suddenly because the body becomes accustomed to it and begins to make less of its natural steroids. If prednisone is stopped too quickly, the body does not have time to adjust, and dangerous side effects can occur (see Prednisone Withdrawal).
- People with hypothyroidism or liver disease may be more sensitive to the effects of prednisone.
- Prednisone can cause high blood sugar. If you have diabetes, your healthcare provider may recommend that you monitor your blood sugar more closely and suggest an increase in the dose of your diabetes medications.
- Prednisone can cause mood or psychiatric changes. These changes may be mild (such as insomnia or mild agitation) or very severe (such as hallucinations or aggression). Tell your healthcare provider if you notice any such changes.
- Prednisone can cause problems in people with high blood pressure, kidney disease, osteoporosis, myasthenia gravis, or ulcers. Before you take prednisone, make sure your healthcare provider knows if you have any of these conditions.
- Prednisone can stunt the growth of infants and children.
- Prednisone can potentially interact with certain other medications (see Prednisone Drug Interactions).
- Prednisone is considered a pregnancy Category B or C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy. Talk with your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using the drug during pregnancy (see Prednisone and Pregnancy).
- Prednisone passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Prednisone and Breastfeeding).