(Prednisone ®)

Aim: Prednisolone is a steroid used for prevention or treatment of organ rejection after transplantation. The medicine acts through inhibition of the cells of the immune system and is used in combination with tacrolimus or cyclosporine. Although some patients need prednisolone for life, many of the transplanted stop taking it in a week up to several months after the operation.

Dosage: Prednisolone is available in several forms: 0.5mg, 2.5mg, 5mg tablets. The medication is usually prescribed once daily and should be taken in the morning. If it is taken in the evening, it can influence the night sleep.

Side effects:

Prednisone may have many side effects, but they vary depending on the dose, frequency and duration of the course treatment. The most common side effects include increased appetite, weight gain, irritation of the stomach lining and/or gastric ulcers, mood changes, irritability, anxiety and acne.

You can also retain fluids and feel “puffy”.

Other side effects that can occur while taking higher doses of prednisolone for a long period of time are: bruises, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol levels, high blood glucose, muscle weakness, night sweating, reduced bone density, slower wound healing, cataract, glaucoma, growth retardation in children as well.

Additional information:

Be sure you take the right dose of prednisolone in the correctly prescribed way. This medicine should not be stopped sharply but slowly with gradual dose reduction for several weeks.

Prednisolone should be taken with food as it can cause stomach problems. If you have missed one dose of prednisolone, take it as soon as you find this. If it is close to the time of the next intake, omit it and continue with the usual dose schedule.

Contact your hepatologist if you have missed a dose of prednisolone.

The lack of regular intake could make you feel sick as your own steroid production /cortisone/ is impaired when you take prednisolone.

Steroid consumption requires to investigate frequently your skin for bruises and to take routine care for it. Your physician can advise you to avoid concentrated sugars like candies, bars and sweetened carbonated drinks. Patients with diabetes will probably control their blood glucose levels more difficulty. Prednisolone intake requires parallel medication with a drug for stomach lining protection from ulcers.

Drugs after liver transplantation. Tacrolimus

Drugs after liver transplantation – part 2