Definition - What does Prednisone mean?
Prednisone is an oral steroid medication that is often used to treat inflammatory diseases. Sometimes prednisone is prescribed to prevent miscarriages in women with a history of recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL).
Some women who experience multiple miscarriages have a higher than normal level of pro-inflammatory cells called natural killer cells in the uterus. These cells normally fight infection. However, at higher than normal levels they can create an undesirable environment for embryo implantation. The anti-inflammatory properties of prednisone are thought to bring balance to the uterine lining to prevent future miscarriages from occurring. Women with immunologic diseases may also possess high levels of these cells when trying to conceive as well.
FertilitySmarts explains Prednisone
Prednisone is often prescribed once daily before the embryo transfer during an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle or prior to ovulation. It is usually continued until ten weeks gestation.
Prednisone is best taken in the morning with food in order to avoid gastrointestinal upset. Common short-term side effects may include increased appetite, fluid retention, insomnia, mood changes, anxiety, and limb pain. Patients with a history of hypertension or diabetes should be warned of the potential worsening of these conditions.
If prednisone is prescribed for longer than two weeks it is recommended to slowly wean down on the dose rather than discontinue abruptly. This is due to its potential to interfere with the normal adrenal production of the body. Long term side effects of prednisone include low bone density and osteoporosis. This is prevented by proper monitoring and vitamin D plus calcium supplementation.