Prednisone For Kids - Side Effects, Dosage & Precautions

Prednisone For Kids

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Are you worried about your kid’s long-term use of prednisone? Are you concerned about the side effects of prednisone for kids? If yes then reading this article may provide you more information on the subject.

What Is Prednisone?

Prednisone is a prescription drug and comes under the category of medicines known as corticosteroids. Corticosteroid drugs act like the hormones produced by the adrenal glands in the body [1].

Prednisone targets the body’s immune system to provide relief from itching, swelling and other allergic reactions. Prednisone is available in the form of tablets, delayed-release tablets, syrup and solution [2].

Prednisone is helpful in treating many health problems such as:

  • Severe allergies
  • Breathing problems
  • Inflammation
  • Arthritis
  • Blood disorders
  • Problems of the bone marrow
  • Asthma
  • Eye problems
  • Skin diseases
  • Cancer
  • Problems of the immune system
  • Adrenal problems
  • Bowel problems

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Prednisone Dosage For Kids:

The dosage of prednisone is different for each patient. The prednisone dosage will depend on the health issue in question, the severity of the condition and the unique needs of your child [3].

Here are some important points about prednisone dosage for children [4].

  • The prednisone dose depends on the form as well as the strength of the medicine. The dosage will differ if it is a tablet, liquid or the concentrated solution.
  • The length of the treatment with prednisone and the number of doses each day also depends on the medical condition for which your kid is using the drug.
  • Some health problems can worsen if you suddenly stop using prednisone. Sudden cessation of prednisone dose can also cause weakness, nausea, headache, muscle pain, dizziness and fatigue. Therefore, the doctor will gradually reduce your child’s prednisone dosage over a period of time.

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[ Read: Is Amoxicillin Safe For Kids ]

Proper Use:

Here are the guidelines for proper use of prednisone [5]:

  • Your child’s doctor may ask you to give her the medicine with milk or food to prevent any stomach irritation. If so, always follow such directions.
  • If your child’s prednisone dose is in the form of delayed-release tablets, avoid crushing or breaking it. Your kid has to swallow the pill whole without chewing it.
  • If it is in the form of oral liquid, always use the measuring cup, spoon or the syringe that comes with the medicine. This allows for proper measurement of the dose.
  • Prednisone in concentrated solution form comes with an oral dropper for proper dose. Always use it to give the medicine to your child.
  • If your child needs to take only one prednisone dose a day, give the dosage to her before 9 A.M. in the morning – provided the doctor has recommended that she can take the medicine anytime of the day. Or else follow the doctor’s guidelines.

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Missed Dose:

If your kid has missed a dose of prednisone, give it to her as quickly as possible. If she has missed the dose and it is time for the next dose, it is best to resume the regular dosing schedule. In that case, your child can skip the missed dose or follow the doctor’s directions [6].

Overdose:

In case your child overdoses on prednisone, call the doctor immediately for urgent medical attention [7].

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Prednisone Side Effects In Children:

Prednisone can cause some side effects [8][9].

1. If your kid experiences any of the following side effects with prednisone use, inform your child’s doctor immediately.

  • Dizziness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Headache
  • Extreme mood changes
  • Alterations in personality
  • Bulging eyes
  • Red or purple spots/blotches under the skin
  • Red or purple lines on the face, legs, arms, neck and groin area
  • Acne
  • Increased facial hair growth, especially in females
  • Excessive sweating
  • Irregular menstrual periods

2.  Some serious side effects of Prednisone in children include:

  • Redness or pain in the eye, tearing
  • Vision problems, blurred vision
  • Fever, sore throat, chills
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Muscle twitching
  • Depression
  • Aggression
  • Agitation, anxiety
  • Extreme mood changes
  • Irritability
  • Tingling, burning or numbness in the legs, hands, feet, face, ankles
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Vomiting
  • Unexplained weight gain or weight loss
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dry cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Stomach pain or cramps
  • Burning or swelling in the stomach
  • Bloody stools
  • Thinning of skin
  • Increased thirst or appetite
  • Vomiting substance with appearance of coffee grounds
  • Slow healing of wounds, bruises or cuts
  • Swollen face, eyes, tongue, hands, feet
  • Rash, itching, hives
  • Thinning of hair
  • Dryness in the scalp
  • Fat deposits on neck and face
  • Trouble in walking, speaking or thinking
  • Delayed or slow development

Your child can also experience any other side effect from prednisone use other than the ones mentioned here. Therefore, observe your kid’s health for any sudden changes. If your child complains of any discomfort after taking prednisone, it would be a good idea to take it seriously [10].

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[ Read: Benadryl Dosage For Kids ]

Precautions:

You may need to follow certain precautionary measures if your child is using prednisone [11].

  • Prednisone may reduce the effectiveness of vaccines. Talk to your child’s doctor if her treatment plan interferes with her vaccination schedule. Follow the doctor’s guidelines about prednisone use and vaccines. If your kid is taking prednisone, make sure she avoids close contact with others who have had live vaccines such as for measles, oral form poliovirus, nasal flu vaccine and others.
  • Prednisone can also increase your kid’s chances of getting infections. So, make sure she frequently washes her hands and takes all precautionary measures to reduce her chances of infections.
  • Regularly measure your child’s as height, weight and mental development as prednisone can adversely affect a child’s growth.

It is always a good idea to discuss side effects of a drug with the doctor before using it. Some side effects of prednisone may clear without treatment as your kid’s body adjusts to the drug. But others may cause serious problem or discomfort to your child. Always discuss about all possible side effects your kid can experience when using prednisone.

Give prednisone to your kid as per her doctor’s recommendations about the dosage. Also, talk to your child’s doctor about any concerns you might have about your kid using this drug.

Did your kid experience any side effects with prednisone use?

[ Read: Home Remedies To Treat Allergies In Children ]

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