Corticosteroids are drugs that are used for a variety of clinical conditions. One of the reasons for their widespread use is their ability to suppress the responses of your immune system. Owing to this action, such steroids are used in the treatment of severe allergic reactions –especially, inflammation, itchiness, swelling, etc. Prednisone is a drug commonly prescribed for treating autoimmune conditions such as arthritis, acute episodes of allergies, disorders associated with your immunity, a few forms of cancers, etc. As an extended use, prednisone is also used in the treatment of respiratory disorders such as asthma. But, can does intake of prednisone cause constipation or difficulties to pass stools? You need to know more on this prior to taking this med.

Prednisone is a steroid that belongs to the genre known as corticosteroids. Its core use is to treat inflammation or swelling – mainly those triggered by autoimmune conditions such as joint pains, arthritis, some forms of tumors, skin allergies as well as respiratory conditions like bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), etc. Owing to the potency of this drug, it is a safe practice to take it along with a meal or with fluids such as milk. Such practices may prevent possible side effects like nausea, vomiting or a spell of indigestion from showing up.

Prednisone is available as a tablet as well as in a liquid form. The pill is taken along with 5 to 6 ounces of water, and is swallowed. On the other hand, syrup is taken by carefully measuring the quantum with a spoon (provided along with the pack). In this light, it is harmful to use a ladle or a spoon from your household. Such use may often lead to an overdose. Above all, never stop taking this drug without the consent of your doctor. Those who stopped the doses all of a sudden witnessed a sudden loss of body weight, painful muscles, migraine, drowsiness or dizziness. It is always recommended to taper the doses of this drug before bringing it to a complete stop.

Will intake of prednisone cause difficulties to pass stools?

Prednisone – owing to its highly potent ingredients – is likely to trigger a few undesired side effects and / or discomforts. A few of the most commonly experienced discomforts include abdominal discomforts such as nausea or an acute pain in your lower abdomen, vomiting as well as a severe drop in appetite levels. Other gastric discomforts include a severe episode of heartburn or acid reflux (also known as GERD).

As most of these side effects are related to the gastric tract, these may also trigger a spell of constipation or difficulties to pass stools. However, constipation is not a very commonly experienced discomfort. It has been reported only by a small percentage of users of prednisone. Due to this, difficulties to pass stools is categorised as one of the uncommon or infrequently experienced side effects of this steroid.

As a safety measure, you are advised to drink ample amounts of water. Talk to your treating doctor as well as a qualified dietitian about how many glasses of water needs to be consumed to avoid the hardening of stools. In some severe cases, your caregiving team may prescribe the use of laxatives. However, laxatives cannot be taken over a longer term; this is mainly because of the habit forming nature of such drugs. People who have used stool softeners regularly (and for a longer term) have become addicted to such usage. In other words, they soon find it difficult to pass stools without the use of laxatives or stool softeners.

In order to avoid such risks, you can check with your dietitian about foods you can take to ease the discharge of stools. In general, foods rich in fibers are known to boost movements of your bowels and soften your stools; these actions prevent problems such as constipation. Such fiber-rich foods include bananas – which are also rich in essential minerals like potassium. As an added benefit, potassium can help regulate heartbeats, and can enhance the wellbeing of your cardiac muscles.

Other needful precautions associated with the intake of prednisone

Foremost of all, you need to know that the treating physician has prescribed prednisone as its benefits far outweigh the risks of its side effects. Those who live with a slow healing rate of wounds, altered discharges during their menstrual periods, prior episodes of epileptic fits, seizures, internal bleeding or thinning down of skin must tell their caregiver beforehand about such conditions. Prednisone – though in very one-off instances – may trigger a rise in your blood sugar levels. Those with high blood sugar levels can identify such a condition by a few of its distinctive signs – viz., frequent urges to urinate and / or being in persistent spells of thirst. Owing to these hidden risks, you are advised to check blood sugar levels regularly.

Moreover, those who have experienced any recent cardiac problems – such as heart attacks, reduction in filtration rates of kidneys, liver related problems – such as cirrhosis, hepatitis / inflammation of liver – must talk to their treating doctor or pharmacist prior to starting your treatment plan. People who have experienced prior episodes of imbalances of minerals – such as calcium or potassium in blood – must inform about such conditions. As steroids such as prednisone can mute your responses to stressful conditions – like a surgery or a dental procedure, your surgeon / dentist must know about your medication plans. Last but not least, meds such as prednisone may hide the typical symptoms of infections. Owing to this, you may come infections may show up at a fairly advanced stage. It is hence a safe practice to keep away from infection-prone areas or already infected people – especially, those with conditions such as flu, measles, etc.

In sum, a few side effects triggered by prednisone – a corticosteroid – are associated with the gastric tract. Due to these risks, episodes of constipation or difficulties to pass stools may occur. As a safety precaution, you are advised to drink adequate quantity of water. Consult with your caregiving team if you witness any initial signs of dehydration – such as drying of lips, tongue or parching of throat. You may also take fiber-rich foods such as bananas which can boost bowel movements and also can soften your stools.

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