Millions of Americans are prescribed dozens of different types of medications on a daily basis, and figuring out what they do and what they are for can be confusing. Whether you are suffering from a condition that you believe requires Prednisone or are researching the prescription your medical professional has prescribed for you so you know exactly what you are taking, it is important to find out why doctors prescribe Prednisone.
What is Prednisone?
Prednisone is a prescription medication that falls into the category of corticosteroids, meaning it can be used alone or in conjunction with other medications to treat low corticosteroid levels in patients whose bodies are not producing high enough levels of such steroids.
It is available in tablet and liquid form as well as a soluble tablet that can be ingested by mouth and dissolved on the tongue. The medication is classified as a glucocorticosteroid and serves as a manmade version of a hormone that is naturally produced in the body’s adrenal glands. By producing some of the steroids a person’s body is no longer producing enough of on its own, Prednisone helps to prevent inflammation by altering the way the immune system responds to certain substances.
Why doctors prescribe Prednisone
Medical professionals prescribe Prednisone to patients who suffer from a wide array of ailments, however, the most common reason this particular medication is prescribed is to alleviate the symptoms associated with low corticosteroid levels, according to the National Institutes of Health.
People who have relatively low corticosteroid levels typically have conditions that range from various types of arthritis and severe allergic reactions to their environment to lupus, multiple sclerosis and illnesses affecting the kidneys, lungs, skin and eyes as well as problems with the stomach, intestines and thyroid. The synthetic corticosteroids present in Prednisone are absorbed by the intestinal tract and used by the body to modify its response to stimuli that affects the immune system.
According to the American Cancer Society, Prednisone is also commonly used to treat the symptoms of several different types of cancer because it helps replace the steroids that should be produced by the body but are no longer being produced or are being produced in very low levels because of a medical condition.
By blocking white blood cells from being able to travel from certain areas of the body to another, the active ingredients in Prednisone can reduce the the swelling that can occur around tumors and also helps to destroy cancerous white blood cells that are present in the bodies of people who are battling cancers of the blood such as leukemia. Occasionally, Prednisone is prescribed for patients who have normal levels of steroids in their bodies but who suffer from skin conditions such as psoriasis, breathing disorders and ulcerative colitis.