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Pronounced: PEE-dee-uh-pred
Generic name: Prednisolone sodium phosphate

Why is this drug prescribed: Pediapred, a steroid drug, is used to reduce inflammation and improve symptoms in a variety of disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, acute gouty arthritis, and severe cases of asthma. It may be given to people to treat primary or secondary adrenal cortex insufficiency (lack of or insufficient adrenal cortical hormone in the body). It is also given to help treat the following disorders: Blood disorders such as leukemia and various anemias Certain cancers (along with other drugs) Connective tissue diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus Digestive tract diseases such as ulcerative colitis Eye diseases of various kinds Fluid retention due to nephrotic syndrome (a condition in which damage to the kidneys causes a loss of protein in the urine) High blood levels of calcium associated with cancer Lung diseases such as tuberculosis Severe allergic conditions such as drug-induced allergic reactions Severe skin eruptions Studies have shown that high doses of Pediapred are effective in controlling severe symptoms of multiple sclerosis, although they do not affect the ultimate outcome or natural history of the disease.

Most important fact about this drug: Pediapred decreases your resistance to infection. It may also mask some of the signs and symptoms of an infection, which makes it difficult for a doctor to diagnose the actual problem.

How should you take this medication: Pediapred may cause stomach upset and should be taken with food. Take this medication exactly as prescribed. ---If you miss a dose... Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never take 2 doses at the same time. ---Storage instructions... Store Pediapred in a cool place, and keep the bottle tightly closed. This medication may be refrigerated.

What side effects may occur: Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Pediapred. Side effects may include: Abnormal loss of bony tissue causing fragile bones, abnormal redness of the face, backbone break that collapses the spinal column, bruising, cataracts, convulsions, dizziness, excess growth of body or facial hair, feeling of illness, fluid retention (edema), fracture of long bones, glaucoma (increased eye pressure), headache, high blood pressure, hives, increased appetite, increased sweating, loss of muscle mass, menstrual irregularities, mental capacity changes, muscle disease, muscle weakness, nausea, peptic ulcer (stomach ulcer with possible bleeding), protrusion of eyeball, psychotic disorders, ruptured tendons, salt retention, slow growth in children, slow wound healing, sugar diabetes, swelling of the abdomen, thinning of the skin, vertigo, weight gain

Why should this drug not be prescribed: This drug should not be used for fungal infections within the body. Avoid it if it gives you an allergic reaction.

Special warnings about this medication: You should not be vaccinated against smallpox while being treated with Pediapred. Avoid other immunizations as well, especially if you are taking Pediapred in high doses, because of the possible hazards of nervous system complications and a lack of natural immune response. Because Pediapred reduces resistance to infection, people who have never had measles or chickenpox---or been vaccinated against them---should be careful to avoid exposure. These diseases can be severe, or even fatal, in people with lowered resistance. Likewise, an ordinary case of threadworm or other intestinal parasites can grow into a grave emergency when the immune system is weak. Symptoms of threadworm include stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you suspect an infection, call your doctor immediately. If you are taking Pediapred and are subjected to unusual stress, notify your doctor. The drug reduces the function of your adrenal glands, and they may be unable to cope. Your doctor may therefore increase your dosage of this rapidly acting steroid before, during, and after the stressful situation. Prolonged use of steroids may produce posterior subcapsular cataracts (a disorder under the envelope-like structure at the back of the eye that causes the lens to become less transparent) or the eye disease glaucoma, and may intensify additional eye infections due to fungi or viruses. Average and high doses of this medication may cause an increase in blood pressure, salt and water retention, and an increased loss of potassium. Your doctor may have you decrease your salt intake and increase your potassium intake. The effects of Pediapred may be intensified if you have an underactive thyroid or long-term liver disease. If you have ocular herpes simplex (painful blisters of the eye), you should be careful using this drug because of the possibility of corneal perforation (puncture of the outer, transparent part of the eye). The use of Pediapred may cause mood swings, feelings of elation, insomnia, personality changes, severe depression, or even severe mental disorders. If you are being treated for a blood clotting factor deficiency, use aspirin with caution when taking Pediapred. Do not use this drug for any disorder other than that for which it was prescribed. Your doctor will prescribe this medication very cautiously if you have ulcerative colitis (inflammation of the colon and rectum) where there is a possibility of a puncture, abscess, or other infection; diverticulitis (inflammation of a sac formed at weak points of the colon); recent intestinal anastomoses (a surgical connection between two separate parts of the colon); active or inactive peptic (stomach) ulcers; unsatisfactory kidney function; high blood pressure; osteoporosis (brittle bones that may fracture); and myasthenia gravis (a long-term disease characterized by abnormal fatigue and weakness of certain muscles). Do not discontinue the use of Pediapred abruptly or without medical supervision. If you should develop a fever or other signs of infection while taking Pediapred, notify your doctor immediately.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication: If Pediapred is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Pediapred with the following: Amphotericin B Aspirin Barbiturates such as phenobarbital and Seconal Cyclosporine (Sandimmune and Neoral) Diabetes drugs such as Glucotrol Ephedrine (in products such as Marax and Rynatuss) Estrogens such as Premarin Isoniazid (Nydrazid) Ketoconazole (Nizoral) Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Motrin Oral contraceptives Phenytoin (Dilantin) Rifampin (Rifadin) Warfarin (Coumadin) Water pills such as Lasix

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: The effects of Pediapred during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. This medication may appear in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If this drug is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until your treatment is finished.

Recommended dosage: ADULTS: The starting dosage of Pediapred may vary from 5 milliliters to 60 milliliters, depending on the specific disease being treated. Your doctor will adjust the dose until the results are satisfactory. If your condition does not improve after a reasonable period of time, the doctor may switch you to another medication. Once you've shown a favorable response, your doctor will gradually decrease the dosage to the minimum that maintains the effect. If you stop taking Pediapred after long-term therapy, your doctor will have you withdraw slowly, rather than abruptly. For acute flare-ups of multiple sclerosis (MS), the usual dose is 200 milligrams per day of Pediapred for one week followed by 80 milligrams every other day or 4 to 8 milligrams of dexamethasone every other day for 1 month. CHILDREN: The starting dosage for children ranges from 0.14 to 2 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight per day, divided into 3 or 4 smaller doses. For asthma, the recommended dosage is 1 to 2 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight per day, taken in a single or several smaller doses.

Overdosage: Although no specific information is available, any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose of Pediapred, seek medical treatment immediately.

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