Prednisone Drug Interactions

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

Steroids can be used to make your life more comfortable or to even save your life. But they may also have dangerous drug interactions. Prednisone is no exception. Find out why in this lesson.


Florida and retirees. Allergies and sneezing. Sports and steroids. They're just so commonly associated, aren't they? Of course, steroids aren't only reserved for use in sports. We use them in medicine, and to good effect, all the time.

However, you've probably heard that steroids can have a lot of side-effects. They also have a lot of potentially dangerous drug interactions. And that's what this lesson is going to be about, prednisone's drug interactions.

What Is Prednisone?

Prednisone is a type of corticosteroid. It's one of the most famous and important steroids used in medicine. It's used to suppress inflammation and the immune system in general. For instance, it can help clamp down on an immune system that has gone wild in cases of psoriasis, serious allergies, ulcerative colitis, and much more. Prednisone can also be used to treat various endocrine abnormalities.

Let's take a moment for a quick side note. The term 'steroid' is a very general one. The steroids used in sports to help an athlete in terms of their performance are not the same kind as prednisone. Actually, if an athlete were to use prednisone for a long period of time, then their performance might worsen in many respects.

Drug Interactions

Regardless, prednisone must be used very carefully. As mentioned above, it has numerous side-effects. This is especially true if it is used in very large amounts and/or over a long period of time. Likewise, doctors must consider the various drug interactions prednisone might have. You're about to find out why.

For instance, have you ever heard of ciprofloxacin? Ciprofloxacin is a type of antibiotic, or a drug that kills or inhibits the growth of bacteria. If ciprofloxacin is used together with prednisone, a person's chances of tendon rupture may increase (tendons are tissue structures that help attach a muscle to a bone).

As you learned a second ago, prednisone can be used in some cases of arthritis, as can a medication called 'adalimumab'. This latter drug is better known as Humira, and it too can be used to treat some forms of arthritis. The problem is, if it's used at the same time as prednisone, a person's chances of a life-threatening infection might increase.

That sounds pretty sad. SAD is also an acronym for seasonal affective disorder. This, as well as major depressive disorder (depression), can be treated with a medication called bupropion. Bupropion is sometimes called Aplenzin, a type of antidepressant. If this medication is used alongside prednisone, then a person may be placed at greater risk of having a seizure. This is more likely to occur in people with a history of seizures or in the elderly.

There's one more important interaction for you to be aware of. This time it's between prednisone and deferasirox. Deferasirox is better known as Jadenu. It's an iron chelator. In other words, it's like a magnet for metal, but in your blood. If you have too much iron in your blood, this medication might be used to help remove it. If it's used when a person is taking prednisone, however, that person's risk of gastrointestinal ulceration and bleeding may increase.

This is important! If a person develops an ulcer in the gastrointestinal system, which is like a deep sore in the digestive tract, they may be at risk of death in the worst of cases. At best it will be painful and the person might have blood in their vomit or in their stool.

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