Prednisone is a glucocorticosteroid drug used for many different conditions; its action is similar to that of cortisone. It can be delivered orally, by intramuscular injection or, rarely, intravenously.
Prednisone is a particularly good immunosuppressant drug and therefore can be used in autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis and sarcoidosis. Intravenous application may be employed in the treatment of symptoms of diseases such as multiple sclerosis.
The body becomes dependent on the medication after use for more than seven days and may become unable to synthesize natural corticosteroids. When the medication is no longer needed, the patient should be weaned off slowly to avoid problems with the adrenal gland. There are many side effects including high blood glucose, fatigue, infections, joint pain and even, in the long term, Cushing's syndrome.