Little did I know when I first became will with Wegener's Granulomatosis that this medication Prednisone would be one of the medications that would save my life. If you ask anyone who has ever had to take this drug, they will tell you of the munchies, the weight gain, and the moon face. They would grimace and tell you how happy they are to get off this drug.
Prednisone is a corticosteroid that is used for inflammation. It is best known for helping asthmatic patients.
When I became ill with Wegener's Granulomatosis, my doctors had no idea why I my kidneys were failing. WG constricts the small to medium blood vessels with inflammation. When I was sent to a nephrology ward, my doctors were not sure that I would survive. I was immediately put on high dosages of prednisone, which kept me from dying until I was diagnosed and put on chemo.
Although I know that prednisone saved my life by reducing inflammation in my blood vessels, it does have some terrible side-effects when used in high dosages (60 mg and above). I was on 100 mg for several months. Some of these side-effects include weight gain, munchies, mood swings, and moon-face. The worst side-effects include diabetes, bone loss, paranoia, and hallucinations. If you are interested in the side-effects, you can find much of this information at John Hopkins, wikipedia, and other medical sites.
If you have a choice to take this drug or something else, I would suggest that you look into the other drug. However, if you have no choice, there are ways to cope with prednisone. And, I am grateful... it did save my life. Also, I am still on it (about 5 mg.). It keeps me well.