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Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0

Steroids, Oral

What are other names for this drug?

Some of the names for oral steroids are prednisone, Paelone, Pediapred, Medrol, and Liquid Pred.

What does this drug do?

Oral steroids reduce swelling, inflammation, and mucus production in the airways. They help control and prevent symptoms of asthma, allergy, and rheumatic diseases.

How is it taken?

Oral steroids can be taken as pills or syrup.

What is the usual dose?

There is no usual dose of steroids. They are carefully prescribed by your doctor for a specific amount of time. In general, when a steroid is prescribed for less than 10 days it is called a "burst" and does not require decreasing doses before stopping the medicine. Steroids taken daily or every other day for over 10 days should not be stopped without checking with your doctor first.

What side effects can steroids cause?

Side effects are related to each individual and how much, how often, and how long the medication is taken. The side effects of steroids during a burst include increased appetite, a feeling of well-being, irritability, and difficulty sleeping. Side effects of oral steroids taken daily, for long periods of time, and/or at high doses can be serious and are slow to resolve once the medication is stopped.

What special instructions should be followed?

Always take the prescribed amount for the length of time prescribed. Do not stop taking the prescribed dose before checking with your doctor.

Your prescribed dose of ______________________ is _____ mg to be taken ______ times a day for _____ days.

Written by the Asthma Task Force at The Children's Hospital, Denver.
Copyright 1999 Clinical Reference Systems