Corticosteroids are drugs used for multiple purposes; salient uses include treatment of tumors, management of auto immune disorders such as arthritis, respiratory disorders – including, asthma, bronchitis, etc. as well as a few skin conditions. In case of dermatological conditions (skin problems), these steroids are used for managing dermatitis (contact type) as well as vulgaris (pemphigus genre). Skin conditions are often treated with topical forms of these steroids. Prednisone is a prominent member in the family of corticosteroids. Can you use prednisone for  treating hives? It becomes important to know about this use if you have skin conditions such as rashes or hives.

Prednisone is a widely prescribed corticosteroid; its uses include management of anemia or other blood related disorders and treatment of auto-immune problems like tumors, arthritis, etc. It is also used as an antihistamine to offer needful relief from allergic conditions including skin problems such as rashes, acne or hives. The main remedial effect of prednisone rests in its ability to reduce swelling and / or inflammation. Owing to its multifaceted treatment capabilities, it is listed as one of the most essential medicines by the world health organization (WHO). As per latest estimates, it fares in the list of top 30 most widely prescribed drugs in the US; the number of prescriptions of this med has crossed the 20 million levels each year.

Hives – what is it?

The clinical name of this skin condition is urticaria. This shows up in the form of raised bumps on the skin. These bumps turn red and may cause excessive levels of itchiness. Hives are known to last only for a shorter span of time; the good news is – this condition does not make any lasting scars or marks on your skin! The typical period for which hives may last is less than 3 to 4 weeks. Only in a small percentage of cases, the condition is known to have lasted for 45 days or more.

The causes behind the onset of hives include bites of insects, intake of some allergic foods or consumption of medications (which have a few ingredients that may turn allergic).  In some instances, living in stressful conditions or leading a lifestyle with anxieties has also caused such skin disorders. In some stray cases, weather conditions (say, an extremely hot or cold climate) have also trigger these bumpy patches on your skin. However, as high as 40% (or more) of its incidence is attributed to unknown factors. A strong link however has been associated in people living with respiratory disorders like asthma or other chronic obstructive pulmonary disorders (COPD) and hay fever.

Onset of hives and common types of these skin conditions

This skin condition may show up both among men as well as women. In men, the onset is likely to last only for a short span of time. On the other hand, in case of women – the condition may last for a longer duration. Among teens or children, the onset is usually for a very short span of time; however, among mid-aged adults, hives may last longer. You may need to be careful while taking foods like eggs, soy, nuts, wheat-based foods such as breads, shellfish, etc. Talk to a qualified dietitian about the foods that may turn allergic and are likely to cause hives or other skin conditions.

Chronic spells of hives are very rare. Often, a diagnostic procedure called patch testing is administered to detect the type(s) of allergies. Acute forms of hives may show up soon after being exposed to an allergy-causing agent (known as an allergen). The acute form is usually an outcome of food related allergies. With needful care and clinical attention, the acute form may disappear within less than 5 to 6 weeks. On the other hand, the chronic form of hives may last for more than a year and in some very remote cases, conditions have lasted for more than 20 years!

Prednisone for treating hives

Prednisone is often taken as a pill. Its intake is strictly as per a medication plan – administered by a qualified medical practitioner. Pills are swallowed by taking 6 to 7 ounces of water; it is dangerous to crush the tablet or make it into a powder. In case of a liquid form, it is safe to take it at the prescribed level. It becomes important to use a measuring spoon / ladle provided along with the pack. It is unsafe to use a ladle or a spoon from your household / kitchen.

In case of oral formulations of prednisone, the active ingredients in each pill may set an imbalance of microorganisms present in your oral parts. Owing to such imbalances, you are likely to encounter oral conditions such as thrush or formation of white patches on your tongue / inner side of your cheeks, etc. In some remote instances, intake of prednisone can also lead to soreness of throat, abdominal discomforts such as vomiting or nausea, indigestion as well as diarrhea.

Other possible side effects include blurring of eyesight, feeling very dizzy, migraine, insomnia or other sleeping problems, thinning down of skin as well as inflammation. Most of these side effects may go off once your system gets used to the active and key ingredients used in this drug. However, if one or more of these side effects persist, it is strongly recommended to talk to your treating doctor. In case of severe allergies or an organ transplant, your doctor may prescribe a fairly long term intake of this drug. In such cases, you are likely to experience an increase in blood sugar levels, mood shifts such as depression, hallucination, etc., reduction of bone density as well as risks of ulcers.

In sum, a short term intake of prednisone for treating hives is often prescribed. This medicine also serves as an anti-allergic drug or an antihistamine; prednisone essentially reduces the immunity levels to manage allergic reactions. You may observe a few side effects like nausea, vomiting or inflammation. These side effects may disappear once your body gets used to the active ingredients. However, if any of the discomforts last for more than a week, it is a safe practice to talk to your treating physician and / or a pharmacist without delay.

Leave a Reply