Prednisone is categorized under the drug class, immunosuppressant. In other words, it counteracts the hypersensitive reaction of the immune system, which is the root cause for some of the serious medical symptoms. This therapeutic drug is advocated for alleviating several conditions, including non-productive cough, breathing abnormalities, chronic asthma, other inflammatory disorders, migraine headache, autoimmune diseases, and kidney problems. A high dosage of prednisone is used in conjunction with other therapies for cancer treatment.
Things One Should Know
As with any type of immunosuppressant drug, prednisone is associated with various side effects. Since, the action of this corticosteroid revolves around subduing the body's immune system, the affected person who has opted for this as a treatment, becomes vulnerable to infections. Hence, administration of this drug is recommended as the last resort for cough treatment, when adopting other therapeutic intervention that do not show improvement signs.
Drug dependency is a concern with prolonged use of the same. After its continuous consumption, the adrenal gland loses the ability to secrete corticosteroid. Thus, the affected people become dependent on this drug for normal functioning of the bodily systems. If at all this drug is taken for more than a week's period, gradual reduction in the dosage is advised. Otherwise, an abrupt quitting of this medication results in mild to severe withdrawal symptoms.
As aforementioned, this medication is not at all suitable for self administration or taking the drug without medical supervision. This steroidal drug is known to interact with several medications. Hence, one should inform the concerned doctor about existing drugs and underlying diseases (if any) prior to using it for the treatment of cough.
This medication is available in different drug forms, such as oral tablets, injections, and inhalants. Of these, prednisone delivered via intravenous and intramuscular injections give faster results. However, their major drawback is, making frequent visits to the doctor for the treatment when required. For treating cough, inhalable prednisone and oral pills are used popularly.
This steroid is effectual for addressing severe coughing, coughing up blood, and allergic asthma attacks. It works in relieving cough by reducing the swelling and inflammation in the respiratory tract, and ensures normal breathing. In asthmatic patients, this drug helps in opening the air passages, which in turn reduces cough, difficulty in breathing, and other associated symptoms.
Its dosage is determined with respect to several factors, of which the treatment approach is one of them. In steroid burst, it is given in large concentration for a few days to get prompt results. Another way is the regular administration of the drug in a moderate dose for some time. A daily dose between 40-80 mg is considered safe for adults. Only a doctor can recommend the treatment option that is suitable for an affected person.
The adverse effects are seen in the case of high dosage and prolonged treatment with this drug. Beside these considerations, this medication is not safe for people having fungal infection, stress, fever, infection, or any other severe illnesses. So, the affected people need to be monitored closely, before advocating the same. Immediate medical attention is imperative in case of overdose symptoms, like collapse and breathing arrest.
In a nutshell, prednisone medication for cough is considered, when the drug effectiveness is significant and outweighs the probable adverse effects. On the brighter side, administration of this drug for one week is free of unusual adverse reactions, provided that the recommended concentration is taken only for the prescribed period (6-7 days). This corticosteroid impairs secretion of inflammatory substances by the immune system. It has no role in treating infections or the underlying illnesses.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.