Everything You Need to Know About Prednisolone

Prednisolone is used in pediatrics on a fairly regular basis, to attack respiratory infections in children. Its component is a corticosteroid, meaning that the precautions having to do with these drugs must be taken. Here's what you need to know about it.
Everything You Need to Know About Prednisolone

Last update: 17 August, 2021

Prednisolone is a corticosteroid that exerts an anti-inflammatory action that has an intermediate duration.

Prednisolone, as we’ve said, is a corticosteroid, And corticosteroids are hormones that our body produces in different glands, such as the pancreas, thyroid, testicles, ovaries, and adrenal glands. It’s in the adrenal glands that corticosteroids are produced.

What do doctors prescribe prednisolone for?

Prednisolone is widely used in children’s treatments. Most often, doctors prescribe it for the following health problems:

  • Bronchitis or asthmatic crisis
  • Laryngitis
  • Atopic dermatitis: When the outbreaks are moderate to severe
  • Allergic conditions

The duration of treatment with this medicine varies according to the severity of the process and depends on each case. Just the same, it’s best to use prednisolone for the shortest time possible to achieve the desired result.

It’s important to remember that this drug takes about 4 hours to take effect, so you wait at least 8 hours between one dose and the next. By doing so, it’s possible to reach the half-life of prednisolone in the blood that produces the desired effect.

How is prednisolone taken?

A child with a bacterial infection and fever, sleeping.
The use of prednisolone for respiratory disease in young children is common.

Although doctors prescribe treatment with prednisolone according to each patient, the maximum daily dose is 40 milligrams per day.

Treatment usually involves two doses a day, every 12 hours, and you can mix them with milk or juices to make them easier to take.

What are the side effects of prednisolone?

When patients take prednisolone for fewer than 10 days, the risk of side effects is low. In general, the most common side effects are increased appetite and restlessness.

Although there are hardly any side effects when the treatment is short, as in the case of bronchitis, laryngitis, or atopic dermatitis, when the treatments are longer there must be medical control. This is because the side effects that may appear can be of greater importance.

These side effects include the following:

  • Increase in blood glucose levels
  • Fluid retention
  • The appearance of stretch marks or acne
  • Scarring problems

When should you not take prednisolone?

Experts warn against taking this medicine if you’re allergic to prednisolone. The same is true if you’re suffering from a viral illness, as prednisolone can worsen the symptoms.

When you have to vaccinate your child, it’s best that they not undergo treatment with prednisolone two months before receiving the vaccine. If for whatever reason, the vaccination coincides with the prednisolone treatment, you should consult your pediatrician.

In addition, regarding vaccines and prednisolone, it’s important to take into account that at least 2 weeks should go by between the date of vaccination and the beginning of treatment with this drug.

A child receiving a vaccine.
It’s important for children not to take this medication around vaccination times.

You may also be interested in: Normal Glucose Levels in Children

How to stop taking prednisolone?

Since it’s a corticosteroid, you should never stop taking it abruptly, especially if you’ve been using it for long periods of time. Among the reasons why treatment shouldn’t stop abruptly are the possible sudden drops in glucose levels and blood pressure.

Abrupt withdrawal of this medication may also affect the production of the adrenal glands, as taking the corticosteroid orally competes with the hormones that the body produces.

At the same time, when treatment stops abruptly, the body suffers a sudden drop in corticosteroids, which can alter all vital signs. For this reason, you need to reduce the doses gradually and give the body time to adapt progressively to the hormonal changes.

Short-use corticosteroid

Prednisolone is a corticosteroid that should be used in short treatments. This way, it doesn’t involve any serious side effects. Completing the treatment as prescribed and following the doses recommended by a physician is the best guarantee for a good state of health.

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