Corticosteroids for nephrotic syndrome
|Generic Name||Brand Name|
|prednisolone||Orapred, Pediapred, Prelone|
Both prednisone and prednisolone are oral medicines. You take them by mouth. How much you take depends on your body size. Most often you take it daily for 4 to 8 weeks.
How It Works
Corticosteroids are strong anti-inflammatory medicines. They act to reduce swelling in the body caused by nephrotic syndrome.
Why It Is Used
People take corticosteroids for nephrotic syndrome to help restore the kidney's normal function and remove extra fluid from the body.
How Well It Works
More than 9 out of 10 children who have minimal change disease get better with corticosteroids.1
Prednisolone may cause fewer side effects than prednisone. But side effects of corticosteroids are common and include:
- Allergic reaction .
- Increased blood pressure with a severe headache or blurred vision.
- Sudden weight gain of more than 5 lb (2.3 kg) in a day or two.
- Stomach upset, nausea, or vomiting.
- Mood swings and changes in behavior.
- Muscle weakness or joint pain.
- Increased hunger or thirst.
- Increased hair growth.
- Osteoporosis .
- Rounding of the face.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
If you have been taking corticosteroids for more than a week, do not stop taking them suddenly. You may need to slowly reduce the amount you take under the direction of your doctor.
Do not take any other prescription or nonprescription medicines, including herbal products, during treatment with corticosteroids without first talking to your doctor. Many other medicines can interact with corticosteroids, resulting in side effects. Corticosteroids can also change how other medicines work.
Take corticosteroids with food or a glass of milk to avoid stomach upset or ulcers.
Experts don't know whether corticosteroids will harm an unborn baby. If you are pregnant, do not use this medicine without first talking to your doctor.
Corticosteroids pass into breast milk. If you are breast-feeding a baby, do not use these medicines without first talking to your doctor.
Avoid sources of infection. Wash your hands frequently, and keep them away from your mouth and eyes. This medicine may weaken your immune system while you are taking it.
Do not use alcohol or illegal drugs while you are taking corticosteroids.
- Lewis JB, Neilson EG (2008). Glomerular diseases. In AS Fauci et al., eds., Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 17th ed., vol. 2, pp. 1782–1797. New York: McGraw-Hill.
- Vincenti FG, Amend WJC (2008). Nephrotic syndrome section of Diagnosis of medical renal diseases. In EA Tanagho, JW McAninch, eds., Smith's General Urology, 17th ed., pp. 524–526. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Last Updated: June 5, 2009