This trial clearly demonstrated that 40 mg prednisone for 5 days is at least as good as a 14-day regimen. What's more, it is not necessary to taper the short-course therapy, which simplifies treatment. The primary outcome was the time to the next COPD exacerbation, up to 180 days. Noninferiority between the groups was defined as no more than a 15% absolute increase in exacerbations. The dropout rate was %, evenly divided between groups. Intention to treat and per-protocol analyses were conducted, and hazard ratios (HRs) were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method and Cox proportional hazards models.
Acne is often present. Acne conglobata is a particularly severe form of acne that can develop during steroid abuse or even after the drug has been discontinued. Infections are a common side effect of steroid abuse because of needle sharing and unsanitary techniques used when injecting the drugs into the skin. These are similar risks to IV drug abusers with increased potential to acquire blood-borne infections such as hepatitis and HIV/AIDS . Skin abscesses may occur at injection sites and may spread to other organs of the body. Endocarditis or an infection of the heart valves is not uncommon.
Just as taking prednisone can cause side effects, reducing the dose may cause problems as well. Prednisone is not addicting like a narcotic, but many patients experience withdrawal symptoms as the dose is reduced. These often include muscle soreness, joint pain, fatigue, and depression. Know that these effects are also temporary and worth bearing to allow a cutback in your dose. If you experience any unusual symptoms as your prednisone dose is reduced, contact your doctor. It may be necessary to temporarily increase your steroid dose until you are feeling better and then taper the dose more slowly.