The most common symptoms of poison ivy dermatitis are skin rash, intense itching, and swollen skin. Prednisone for poison ivy is one of the best known medical treatments. The following HealthHearty write-up provides information on prednisone dosage, side effects, and precautionary measures to be taken, as the drug makes you more prone to illnesses.
It is believed that more than 60% of human population is clinically allergic to poison ivy. The number of poison ivy allergy cases especially increases during summer, as it is the time when people prefer to go for hiking, trekking, and various other outdoor activities. Poison ivy dermatitis can recover on its own. Most of the time, it does not require medical treatment. However, the recovery process may take 1-3 weeks, and one may feel uncomfortable and uneasy. If the symptoms are severe, or if the rash covers a large area (10% or more) of skin (especially if the face, hands, or genitals are covered by rash), the doctor may prescribe steroid pills (for example, prednisone) or injections (for example, triamcinolone acetonide, budesonide) to help relieve itching, swelling, and inflammation.
Getting treatment for poison ivy will make the patient comfortable as well as reduce the chances of skin infection. If you consult a dermatologist, there are high chances that he will prescribe you prednisone for poison ivy rash. Prednisone is a synthetic corticosteroid drug that is used in treating various inflammatory diseases. Steroid therapy is widely used in the treatment of allergies. The drug can be taken either orally or through intramuscular injections. The medication is basically in the form of corticosteroid and is converted to prednisone by the liver. The steroid prednisone, when prescribed for poison ivy dermatitis, works by suppressing the entire immune system of the body. This makes it able to provide relief even in the severe cases of poison ivy blisters.
Prednisone dosage for poison ivy rash is generally taken orally for a period of 15 days. In the first 5 days, you are supposed to take 60 mg of prednisone daily. It is followed by 40 mg of prednisone per day for the next 5 days. It is again followed by a dosage of 20 mg of prednisone per day in the last 5 days. Usually, the poison ivy skin rashes disappear after 6-7 days of taking prednisone. Still, it is advisable to complete the recommended period of prednisone dosage to get the best of recovery results.
Prednisone dosage for poison ivy dermatitis is not generalized, and may differ in your case. It is best to follow the directions suggested by your health care provider. Prednisone for poison ivy treatment comes with a label with exact dosing instructions inscribed in it. It is taken orally with food. Make sure you take prednisone for the recommended number of times and in recommended amounts. Make sure you do not miss any dose. If In case you do miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for the next dose, then skip the missed dose, and follow the regular dosing schedule. Taking two doses at once is not advisable. Some people are allergic to certain ingredients of prednisone, and thus may develop moderate to severe side-effects. In addition to this, long-term usage of prednisone is not safe for anyone, as it weakens the immunity of your body. In order to keep yourself safe and away from unnecessary health problems, you need to take certain precautionary measures, and follow the instructions regarding prednisone dosage strictly.
- Muscle aches
- Joint pain
- Low blood pressure
- Sleep disorders
- Exaggerated sense of well-being
- Mood swings
- Lack of appetite
- Changes in menstrual cycle
- Increased pressure in the eye
- Unusual weight gain or weight loss
- Prolonged sore throat
- Changes in personality
Things to be Discussed with Doctor
The best way to prevent yourself from the prednisone side-effects is to make sure that you are not allergic to it or any of its ingredients. You must discuss certain things with your doctor, if he is looking forward to prescribe prednisone for treating poison ivy rash. Inform your doctor in case of the following
- You suffered from systemic fungal infection at any point in your life.
- You are allergic to any of the ingredients present in prednisone.
- You are taking mifepristone.
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- You are taking any sort of prescribed or over-the-counter medicines.
- You are taking any sort of herbal preparation or dietary supplement.
- You are about to take an inactivated virus vaccine.
- You are suffering from any kind of mental disorder such as depression.
- You are suffering from diseases like gastritis, esophagitis, stomach obstruction, cardiac malfunctioning, etc.
- You are suffering from any type of microbial infection.
- You are taking medicines.
Precautionary Steps to be Taken
Prednisone makes you more prone to illnesses, as it works by suppressing your immune system. When using prednisone for poison ivy treatment, try to keep yourself safe. You must take the following: precautionary measures:
- Avoid contact with people having cold or other infections.
- Immediately consult your doctor, if you get an exposure to chickenpox, tuberculosis, or measles, while under prednisone prescription or within a year of taking prednisone.
- Inform the medical or dental practitioner about your prednisone medication in case you have to receive any kind of health service from them.
- Prednisone may elevate blood pressure by promoting loss of potassium ions. This may result in increased water retention. Therefore, you are required to restrict the use of salt.
- Prednisone may cause calcium loss, and may promote osteoporosis. You should take calcium and vitamin D supplements.
Because of the immunity suppression by prednisone, its long term use can be serious. Therefore, healthcare providers prescribe a different therapy for alternate days to break the continuous effect of prednisone on your body. Strictly follow the directions and instructions given by your doctor to get a safe and secured treatment with prednisone.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.