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How Can Prednisone Help Asthma?

MT Ghozali is a researcher and lecturer of pharmaceutical sciences with extensive experience in patient education.

Is Prednisone Effective for Asthma?

If you have ever suffered from a severe asthma attack, you have probably been treated in the hospital with heavy dosages of steroids that were given to you intravenously.

Steroids and other anti-inflammatory drugs like prednisone are sometimes prescribed to patients with asthma and other lung illnesses.

For example, in asthma, the inflammation of the airways can be effectively eased with prednisone and other steroid drugs–or SAIDs for short, which can be taken orally or injected.

The two primary symptoms of asthma, a chronic lung disease, are inflammation and narrowing of the airways.

The two primary symptoms of asthma, a chronic lung disease, are inflammation and narrowing of the airways.

If you have an asthma attack and end up in the hospital or the ER, your GP may prescribe prednisone for a brief duration. Additionally, if your asthma is severe or poorly controlled, you may be prescribed this drug for an extended period.

Understanding Asthma

When you have asthma, your airways get inflamed and narrowed, and you may even cough up excess mucus. Coughing, an annoying whistling sound (wheezing) on exhalation, and shortness of breath are all symptoms that may result from this.

Asthma is characterized by wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness (as though a band was tightening around the chest), and coughing as the primary symptoms.

An asthma attack is a rapid worsening of asthma symptoms triggered by tightening muscles around your airways. The attack can be prevented by taking preventative measures.

How to Control Asthma Symptoms

A variety of means can control asthma. Medical treatment options may include drugs prescribed by your GP. Among these are:

  • Inhaling a bronchodilator will help you breathe easier by reducing the tension in the muscles that line your airways.
  • Muscle relaxation allows air to flow through the airways. They also facilitate the clearance of mucus from the airways. These drugs are used for both short-term and long-term relief of asthma symptoms.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce inflammation and mucus production in the lungs. In addition, they improve lung function by facilitating airflow in both directions. Your doctor may recommend regular use to keep your chronic asthma under control.

When inhalers alone aren't enough to control severe asthma, your GP may turn to biological medicines (Omalizumab, Mepolizumab, Reslizumab, and Benralizumab)

How Effective Is Prednisone for Asthma?

If your immune system is hyperactive, your GP may prescribe the corticosteroid drug prednisone to bring it under control and reduce inflammation in your body.

Prednisone is used for various medical diseases, including allergy disorders, skin issues, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and asthma as well.

How to Use Prednisone

You can get prednisone in tablet form or as a liquid solution to take by mouth. Since oral prednisone is well tolerated and inexpensive, it is often the first line of treatment for acute asthma.

Prednisone often has a 5- to 10-day treatment duration. The average adult dose is around 80 mg, while the typical maximum dosage is 60 mg.

There is no evidence that daily doses of more than 50–100 mg are more effective than this range for symptom alleviation.

Please Keep in Mind

Remember to take your missing prednisone dose as soon as possible. However, if it is close to the time for your next dosage, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular dosing plan.

It is not recommended to take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

Prednisone might cause stomach distress; therefore, it is recommended that you take it with food or milk.

How Can Prednisone Help?

Active compounds in prednisone work by dampening the immune system's response, therefore reducing symptoms including edema and allergic responses.

Prednisone, a drug administered for short periods, may help children and adults who have experienced severe asthma exacerbations.

Prednisone, a drug administered for short periods, may help children and adults who have experienced severe asthma exacerbations.

Prednisone: Side Effects

Negative side effects may include sickness, vomiting, lack of appetite, heartburn, difficulty sleeping, sweating more, or breakouts. Consult your GP or pharmacist immediately if these symptoms persist or worsen.

Remember that your GPs recommended this drug to you as they have determined its benefits justify its possible negative effects. However, many asthmatics using this drug do not experience significant negative effects.

Call your GP or specialist as soon as possible if you have any major side effects, including:

  • Cramps in the muscles;
  • An irregular heartbeat;
  • Weakness;
  • Swelling in the hands, ankles, or feet,
  • An unusual increase in weight;
  • Signs of infection;
  • Vision problems;
  • Symptoms of stomach bleeding;
  • Changes in mood;
  • Slow wound healing;
  • Bone pain;
  • Changes in menstrual period;
  • Puffy face;
  • Seizures;
  • Easy bleeding.

Prednisone and Diabetes

This drug may induce a little elevation in your blood sugar, which can either bring on diabetes or make the condition worse. If you have high blood sugar, such as excessive thirst or urine, you should contact your GP as soon as possible.

If you have diabetes already, you should check your blood sugar regularly as instructed by your doctor and discuss the results with them. Your diabetic drug, exercise routine, or diet may require some tweaking from your GP.

Prednisone and Allergies

It is unusual for someone to have a severe adverse reaction to this substance.

However, you should seek immediate medical attention if you have any signs of severe allergic response, such as a rash, itching or swelling (particularly of the face, tongue, or neck), extreme dizziness, or difficulty breathing.

In certain cases, you can use drugs like prednisone and other systemic steroids to treat asthma episodes and improve your ability to keep your condition under control.

In certain cases, you can use drugs like prednisone and other systemic steroids to treat asthma episodes and improve your ability to keep your condition under control.

A Warning Word

Allergic diseases, skin issues, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, and respiratory disorders are some of the numerous ailments prednisone can treat.

However, please keep in mind that:

  • Those with a fungal infection that needs oral antifungals should not take prednisone. Even though topical antifungals may be safe, it's always important to tell your doctor about any drugs you are currently taking.
  • Taking corticosteroid drugs increases a person's susceptibility to infection. It's best to stay away from infected persons and those who are unwell. If you're on prednisone, you shouldn't get a "live" vaccine.
  • You should get medical attention immediately if you experience chest discomfort, nausea, vomiting, bloody or tarry stools, severe depression, changes in personality or behavior, difficulty seeing, or pain in one or both eyes.
  • Prednisone is not safe to stop taking all at once. Do not suddenly stop taking your drugs without consulting with your GP or pharmacist first.

What Drugs Interact with Prednisone?

Many different drugs have the potential to have an adverse interaction with prednisone. Therefore, your GP must be aware of all your drugs.

If you are presently using any of the drugs listed below, you should make an appointment with your GP:

  • Blood thinners.
  • Diabetes drugs.
  • Anti-tuberculosis drugs.
  • Antibacterial drugs belonging to the macrolide class, e.g., erythromycin (E.E.S.) or azithromycin (Zithromax).
  • Cyclosporine (Sandimmune).
  • Estrogen, including birth control pills.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., aspirin).
  • Diuretics.
  • Anticholinesterases, notably in persons with myasthenia gravis.

Last But Not Least...

The corticosteroid prednisone is frequently used for severe attacks of asthma. In addition, it aids people living with asthma by reducing airway inflammation.

After a hospitalization or emergency room visit for acute asthma symptoms, prednisone has been shown to lessen the likelihood that the symptoms will return.

Prednisone's adverse effects manifest more frequently with prolonged use.

Several different classes of drugs can interact negatively with prednisone. Therefore, before starting prednisone, you must notify your doctor about any other drugs you're currently on.

This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2022 Dr apt MT Ghozali