Tuesday, March 26, 2013

When Is Prednisone to Use

It is known, that approximately 35 million Americans suffer from allergic reactions to airborne substances. Prednisone can be an effective treatment for certain allergies wherein the respiratory system is compromised by the introduction of seemingly innocuous environmental elements. Here is a list of allergies which are treatable with prednisone.
Hay Fever
The most common immune disorder that tends to occur seasonally is hay fever, but it is also characterized by a perennial variety. The body lacks the ability to recognize foreign substances such as pollen or dust as harmless, and treats these environmental elements as a type of infection.
Between the symptoms for hay fever are swelling of the nasal membranes, causing sneezing, runny nose and nasal polyps (which result in nosebleeds). Sometimes might also appear dark circles under the eyes due to veins near the sinuses being congested.
People who suffer from perennial hay fever will find living in conditions with large amounts of dust, plant matter and mold intolerable. Seasonal hay fever sufferers tend to find that their symptoms flare up during the seasons their allergens are in bloom. For instance, those who are allergic to tree pollen will find their symptoms at their worst in the spring; those who are allergic to grass pollen will suffer flare-ups in the summer and those sensitive to fungal spores will be at their worst during the fall and winter.
Pet Allergy
There is a widespread belief, that pet fur and pet dander causes allergic reactions, but it is actually the protein in the animal saliva that is the real culprit. As far as cats lick themselves more than dogs and cats are more likely to rub themselves on furniture, cats are often the source of turmoil, but severe allergy sufferers will also react to the presence of dogs.
It is not to ignore, that pet urine also triggers allergic reactions, and pets such as rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils and mice can be the source of major allergic reactions.
Years may pass till pet allergies gestate. A long time -up to several months- is needed before the allergens to fully exit the system of the sufferer even after exposure to the pet has ceased.
Cockroach Allergy
The proteins contained in the excrement of cockroaches can trigger allergic reactions, and this is a common trigger for asthma attacks.
Busy urban areas often have cockroach infestations that are not necessarily visible to the naked eye; only the evidence of repeated allergy and asthma attacks might bring the possibility of cockroaches to the fore.
Cigarette Smoke Allergy
Cigarette smoke is not only hazardous to the health generally, it also can trigger severe asthma attacks.
Should you suffer from asthma and live in an environment where there is significant cigarette smoke, for the sake of your own health and safety, you will want to encourage smokers, if they are unwilling to quit, to smoke outdoors and away from windows or air conditioning vents, so as not to infiltrate the building with smoke that can trigger an attack.

Prednisone - Cortisol's Role in your Immune System

Prednisone is a life-saving medication for many serious medical disorders; certain conditions require the ministration of anti-inflammatory and immune-suppressing medications such as prednisone. Here are some facts of which you should be aware before you begin your treatment:
Prednisone suppresses the immune system
There are some conditions which require immune system inhibition. Medical circumstances that cause the immune system to attack the body's own tissues, such as organ transplants rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, require corticosteroids such as prednisone.
However, if the medication is taken for a long period of time, it can cause the body's immune system to weaken, and result in weight gain, infection, weak bones, ulcers and abdominal pain. If you have been prescribed prednisone and are experiencing the above symptoms or dizziness, confusion, psychiatric disorders or blurred vision, consult your doctor immediately so that your dosage can be adjusted.
Prednisone takes effect quickly
The anti-inflammatory properties occur more quickly through the use of the corticosteroid prednisone than they do with other drug treatments, and they are often given to patients for immediate relief before other medications take full effect.
Joint damage and pain can be reduced
Patients suffering from chronic joint pain from arthritis can benefit from prednisone treatment due to its capacity to slow joint damage when taken in small doses. However, when taken in large doses for a long period of time there is the possibility of joint stiffness and pain.
Patients should not stop taking prednisone suddenly
Because prednisone mimics hormone production from the adrenal glands, the adrenal glands can begin to atrophy and cease producing hormones after a long period of time on the drug. In order to prevent total gland failure, it is important to taper off of the medication slowly rather than stop immediately.
Side effects of prednisone
Most patients will not require heavy doses of prednisone, and therefore will likely not experience particularly noticeable side effects. However, patients that have been given larger doses might experience the following:
  • Excessive body hair growth (hirsutism)
  • Weight gain - notably the accumulation and redistribution of fat pads on certain parts of the body
  • Mild to moderate acne
  • High blood sugar
  • Fungal infections of the mouth
  • Osteoporosis
  • Stretch marks
  • Cataracts
  • High Blood Pressure
Prednisone can also interfere with the effectiveness of certain medications and vaccinations, as well as interact with certain hormone therapies (estrogen) in such a way as to compromise prednisone's ability to function properly. It is important to go over all conditions for which you currently receive treatment so that your doctor can make the appropriate adjustments to your medications.
Additionally, if you believe you may become pregnant or are trying to become pregnant and are taking prednisone, make sure to alert your physician, as prednisone may, in rare cases, cause the birth defect cleft palate.