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Home > Wellness Resources > Health Library > Corticosteroids for Nephrotic Syndrome
Both prednisone and prednisolone are oral medicines. You
take them by mouth. How much you take depends on your body size. Most often you
take it daily for 4 to 8 weeks.
Corticosteroids are strong
anti-inflammatory medicines. They act to reduce swelling in the body caused by
People take corticosteroids for
nephrotic syndrome to help restore the kidney's normal function and remove
extra fluid from the body.
More than 9 out of 10 children who
have minimal change disease get better with corticosteroids.1
Corticosteroids work best for nephrotic syndrome
caused by minimal change disease (also called nil disease),
All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.
Here are some important things to think about:
Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you have:
Call your doctor if you have:
Common side effects of this medicine include:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
Corticosteroids can keep your immune system from fighting infection. When you are taking this medicine (and even when you have finished taking it), try not to be around people who are sick. And make sure you talk to your doctor before you get any vaccinations.
People who take corticosteroids for more than 2 to 3 months should take calcium and vitamin D supplements or other medicines, such as bisphosphonates, to prevent osteoporosis. For more information, see the Medications section of the topic Osteoporosis. Your doctor may want you to have a bone density test to check for osteoporosis.
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.
There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
Women who use this medicine during pregnancy have a slightly higher chance of having a baby with birth defects. If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, you and your doctor must weigh the risks of using this medicine against the risks of not treating your condition.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
American Academy of Pediatrics (2009). Management of childhood onset nephrotic syndrome. Pediatrics, 124(2): 747–757. Available online: http://www.pediatrics.org/cgi/content/full/124/2/747.
Lee BK, Vincenti FG (2013). Diagnosis of medical renal disease. In JW McAninch, TF Lue, eds., Smith and Tanagho's General Urology, 18th ed., pp. 529–539. New York: McGraw-Hill.
May 8, 2013
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Tushar J. Vachharajani, MD, FASN, FACP - Nephrology
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