Prednisone is a widely used medication that belongs to a family of drugs referred to as corticosteroids, which are very similar to the naturally-produced hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands and alters the way the immune system is functioning, helps the brain use glucose more efficiently, suppresses the digestive system, and slows growth processes. However, corticosteroids are used to decrease the action of the immune system when it is causing more harm than good. Numerous diseases and conditions can produce abnormalities of the immune system that may need treatment with corticosteroids such as prednisone. Prednisone helps stop the body from making the chemicals responsible for the inflammatory responses. Prednisone is most often used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, myositis, vasculitis, skin conditions, breathing disorders, ulcerative colitis, and allergic disorders.
Of course, prednisone comes with certain side effects. Get to know them now.
Fluid And Sodium Retention
An individual who takes prednisone may experience sodium and fluid retention. As mentioned, corticosteroids like prednisone are very similar to cortisone, which influences the way an individual's body manages its delicate balance between sodium, water, and other electrolytes. When the electrolyte and water balance is thrown off, an individual's body may be stimulated to retain more sodium than it is meant to. Excess sodium in a healthy individual's body is eliminated via the urine, stool, and sweat. Prednisone, like cortisone, can interfere with the normal elimination of sodium from the body. When sodium remains in an individual's body, fluid follows the sodium and also remains in the body. Sodium and fluid retention lead to weight gain, the buildup of excessive fluid in the cells outside of the bloodstream, and high blood pressure.
Keep reading to learn more about the various side effects linked to taking prednisone now.