The preventive treatment recommended for most bronchial asthma cases, except in an uncomplicated form of the disease, is the use of inhaled glucocorticoids. Since glucocorticoids were introduced in 1972, drugs in this group remain relevant due to their low cost, availability, and safety.
Approximately one in five patients with bronchial asthma are treated with glucocorticoids, which are recommended for chronic, acute, and complicated cases of asthma.
Prednisone is a glucocorticoid well-known for having a lower risk of side effects and limited complications. Doctors often prescribe it for severe cases because it is a fast-acting glucocorticoid beta-2 agonist that can be taken once a day or three times a week.
Prednisone is available in 5 mg tablets for oral use or as a 30-mg injection for intravenous and intramuscular use.
Treatment can start with high doses of the drug and eventually be decreased following the “step-down” approach. The initial high dose is administered to combat the disease as quickly as possible in the following cases:
- To reduce seizures.
- To treat acute conditions or complications.
- To improve respiratory system functions.
- To minimize side effects in the case of an adverse reaction.
Early treatment with glucocorticoid drugs has been demonstrated to significantly improve these conditions. Prednisone prevents and blocks inflammation as well as deterioration of the respiratory tract. Prednisone is especially useful in treating children with bronchial asthma.
As a medication, prednisone has anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects. Additionally, the drug has an immunosuppressive effect, increasing beta-2 adrenergic receptor sensitivity. As prednisone interacts with specific cytoplasmic receptors, it helps to initiate protein formation. For general obstructive diseases of the respiratory tract, and bronchial asthma, in particular, prednisone is effective at reducing inflammatory processes.
Also, prednisone provides the following benefits:
- Eliminates or reduces edema of the mucous membranes.
- Creates immune complexes in the bronchial mucosa.
- Prevents erosion and desquamation of the mucosa.
- Reduces the risk of scar tissue formation.
- Reduces the risk of side effects to the connective tissue.
It is recommended that the first course of therapy not exceed 16 days. Doctors typically prescribe an initial treatment of 5 or 6 mg per day, then when the condition improves, the dosage is reduced to 3 mg. The high daily dosage of 1.5 or 2.5 tablets is recommended only once per treatment episode. In severe cases, doubling the daily dose every other day may be recommended. The dosage and duration are defined and prescribed individually for each case. Patients should always consult a doctor before taking this medication.
It is important for patients to follow the explicit instructions given to them by their physician regarding the treatment administration, duration, and dosage. Prednisone is crucial in treating bronchial asthma, but it should never be taken without a doctor’s recommendation. If a patient is prescribed prednisone, they should first carefully read the instructions, following the recommendations diligently to achieve the desired results and health benefits.
About half a year ago, I had bronchial asthma, and I was treated with prednisone. It helped, and I recovered, but then something else happened. I started gaining weight and gained about 10 kilograms out of the blue. I noticed when my regular clothes became too tight to wear and I had to buy new ones. Now I am on a diet and want to get back to my regular size. I go to the gym to work out and my weight is slowly going back to normal. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen overnight. So, my advice to you is to watch your diet when you take prednisone. Try not to gain weight like I did.